Influence of insulin resistance on hepatic fibrosis and steatosis in hepatitis C virus (HCV) mono-infected compared with HIV-HCV co-infected patients

P Halfon, G Pénaranda, F Carrat, P Bedossa, M Bourlière, D Ouzan, C Renou, A Tran, E Rosenthal, C Wartelle, P Delasalle, P Cacoub
Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics 2009, 30 (1): 61-70

BACKGROUND: Insulin resistance (IR), the major feature of the metabolic syndrome, is also common in patients with chronic HCV infection. Liver fibrosis and steatosis are known potential outcome of chronic hepatitis B or C infection. Studies have shown that HIV positive individuals co-infected with HCV have more rapid live disease progression than those with HIV alone. Few data have reported the influence of IR on steatosis and fibrosis in the context of HIV-HCV coinfection.

AIM: To test the association among insulin resistance (IR), liver fibrosis and liver steatosis in HIV-HCV and HCV-infected patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: A total of 170 HIV-HCV-infected patients matched by age, gender and genotype with 170 HCV mono-infected patients were included. Patients were considered to be IR when the homeostasis model assessment of IR >2. Significant fibrosis was considered if METAVIR >or=F2 and significant steatosis if >or=10%.

RESULTS: Insulin resistance was independently associated in HCV patients with fibrosis [odds ratio (OR) = 2.04 (95% CI 1.02-4)], a body mass index (BMI) >25 kg/m(2) [OR = 3.33 (1.47-7.69)] and steatosis [OR = 3.33 (1.67-6.67)]. Fibrosis >or=F2 was associated in HCV patients with high liver activity grade (>or=A2) [OR = 8.33 (3.85-16.67)], male gender [OR = 3.03 (1.33-7.14)] and IR [OR = 2.44 (1.15-5)]. In HIV-HCV patients, >or=A2 [OR = 5.56 (1.64-20)] was associated with fibrosis. Steatosis >or=10% was associated in HCV patients with IR [OR = 3.13 (1.59-6.25) and >or=F2 (OR = 2.22 (1.15-4.17)]. In HIV-HCV, a BMI >25 kg/m(2) [OR = 3.85 (1.64-9.10)], >or=A2 [OR = 2.16 (1.02-4.55); P = 0.044] and nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor [OR = 3.61 (1.19-10.96); P = 0.023] were independently associated with significant liver steatosis.

CONCLUSIONS: Insulin resistance is associated with liver fibrosis and steatosis in HCV mono-infected, but not in HIV-HCV co-infected patients. Significant liver fibrosis is associated with IR independent of liver steatosis only in HCV mono-infected patients.

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