Clinical and histological characteristics of HIV and hepatitis C virus-co-infected patients in Brazil: a case series study

Maria Cássia Mendes-Correa, Azzo Widman, Maria Luiza Paes Brussi, Cristina Fátima Guastini, Norma de Paula Cavalheiro, Carlos Eduardo Melo, Antonio Alci Barone, Reinaldo José Gianini
Revista do Instituto de Medicina Tropical de São Paulo 2008, 50 (4): 213-7

UNLABELLED: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an important factor contributing to morbidity and mortality in patients co-infected with HIV and HCV. In addition, liver biopsy is an important tool in the clinical management of these patients. Although liver biopsy is controversial, it is recommended for all patients. Data regarding the clinical and histological characteristics of these patients are scarce not only in Brazil but in Latin America as a whole. With the goal of better understanding these characteristics and the benefit of liver biopsy indications in this disease setting, data collected from 234 patients followed from 1996 to 2004 at Casa da AIDS, São Paulo, were analyzed. The following variables were extracted from the patients' medical files at the time of liver biopsy: sex, age, hepatitis C infection risk factors, hepatitis C infection duration, ALT levels, CD4+ T cell counts, history of alcohol abuse, history of antiretroviral therapy, HCV genotype, and liver histological alterations.

CONCLUSIONS: 1 - Hepatitis C virus 1 and 3 were the most frequently identified genotypes and were diagnosed in 72% and 25.5% of cases respectively; 2 - Structural liver alterations were found to be mild or absent in 48.2% (113/234) of the analyzed patients; 3 - Fifty-three patients (23%) had normal ALT levels and 4 - Significant liver architectural changes (F2-F3) were evident in 22.5% of the patients with normal ALT levels.

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