Incidence and predictors of severe liver fibrosis in HIV-infected patients with chronic hepatitis C in Brazil

Maria Cássia Mendes-Correa, Azzo Widman, Maria Luiza Paes Brussi, Cristina Fátima Guastini, Reinaldo José Gianini
AIDS Patient Care and STDs 2008, 22 (9): 701-7
The aim of this study was to examine the incidence and factors associated with the severity of liver fibrosis in 234 coinfected patients in Brazil. Patients were cared for in our clinic, from 1996 to 2004. Eligible patients were defined as patients with documented HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections and had previously undergone a liver biopsy. Patients with persistently normal alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were also included. The variables selected for study were age, gender, risk category, history of high alcohol consumption, CD4(+) T cell count, antiretroviral therapy usage, HCV genotype and duration of HCV infection. Stage of fibrosis was scored as follows: F0, no fibrosis; F1, portal fibrosis with no septa; F2, portal fibrosis with few septa; F3, bridging fibrosis with many septa; and F4, cirrhosis. The liver fibrosis stage was F3 in 39 (16.6%) and F4 in 20(8.5%) patients. Among patients with normal ALT, the liver fibrosis stage was F3-F4 in three patients (5.6%). Predictors of severe liver fibrosis (F3-F4) by multivariate analysis were age (older patients) and genotype 3 (genotype 1 = odds ratio [OR], 0.28; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.12 0.65). In summary, in the present study severe liver fibrosis was found in 25% of our patients and was associated with an age of more than 38 years at the time of liver biopsy as well as, HCV genotype 3. No differences were found with respect to CD4(+) T cell counts although patients with a CD4(+) T cell count greater than 50 were excluded.

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