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1.  Assessing mortality in women with hepatitis C virus and HIV using indirect markers of fibrosis 
AIDS (London, England)  2012;26(5):599-607.
Objective
Co-infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in HIV-infected individuals. However, predictors of mortality are poorly defined and most studies have focused predominantly on co-infection in men. We evaluated whether two indirect markers of hepatic fibrosis, aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI) and FIB-4 scores, were predictive of mortality in a well defined longitudinal cohort of HCV/HIV-co-infected women on HAART.
Methods
HCV/HIV-co-infected women on antiretroviral therapy enrolled in Women’s Interagency HIV Study (WIHS), a National Institutes of Health-funded prospective, multicenter, cohort study of women with and at risk for HIV infection were included. Using Cox regression analysis, associations between APRI and FIB-4 with all-cause mortality were assessed.
Results
Four hundred and fifty HCV/HIV-co-infected women, of whom 191 women died, had a median follow-up of 6.6 years and 5739 WIHS visits. Compared with women with low APRI or FIB-4 levels, severe fibrosis was significantly associated with an increased risk of all-cause mortality {APRI: hazard ratio 2.78 [95% confidence interval (CI) 1.87, 4.12]; FIB-4: hazard ratio 2.58 (95% CI 1.68, 3.95)}. Crude death rates per 1000 patient-years increased with increasing liver fibrosis: 34.8 for mild, 51.3 for moderate and 167.9 for severe fibrosis as measured by FIB-4. Importantly, both APRI and FIB-4 increased during the 5 years prior to death for all women: the slope of increase was greater for women dying a liver-related death compared with nonliver-related death.
Conclusion
Both APRI and FIB-4 are independently associated with all-cause mortality in HCV/HIV-co-infected women and may have clinical prognostic utility among women with HIV and HCV.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e32834fa121
PMCID: PMC3698040  PMID: 22156972
fibrosis markers; hepatitis C virus; HIV; longitudinal study; mortality
2.  Hazardous drinking is associated with elevated aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index in an urban HIV clinical cohort 
HIV medicine  2008;10(3):133-142.
Objectives:
To determine the relationship between alcohol consumption and liver fibrosis as assessed by aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index (APRI) in HIV-infected adults and to explore the relative contributions of alcohol and hepatitis C virus (HCV) to APRI among HIV/HCV co-infected adults.
Methods:
We performed a cross-sectional analysis of data from an observational clinical cohort. Alcohol consumption was categorized according to National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism guidelines. We defined significant liver disease as APRI>1.5, and used multinomial logistic regression to identify correlates of increased APRI.
Results:
Among 1358 participants, 10.4% reported hazardous drinking. 11.6% had APRI>1.5, indicating liver fibrosis. Hazardous drinking was associated with increased APRI (Adj. RRR 2.30, 95% CI: 1.26-4.17). Other factors associated with increased APRI were: male gender; viral hepatitis; and HIV transmission category of injection drug use. Among co-infected individuals, 18.3% had APRI>1.5, and hazardous drinking was not associated with APRI. Among nonHCV-infected individuals, 5.3% had APRI>1.5, and hazardous drinking was associated with increased APRI (Adj. RRR 3.72, 95%CI: 1.40-9.87).
Conclusions:
Hazardous drinking is an important modifiable risk factor for liver fibrosis, particularly among non-HCV-infected patients. Clinicians and researchers must address alcohol use as the burden of liver disease increases among HIV-positive individuals.
doi:10.1111/j.1468-1293.2008.00662.x
PMCID: PMC2654191  PMID: 19207596
alcohol; APRI; liver fibrosis; viral hepatitis
3.  Transient elastography: A non-invasive tool for assessing liver fibrosis in HIV/HCV patients 
AIM: To assess the prevalence of advanced liver fibrosis (ALF) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), hepatitis C virus (HCV) and HIV/HCV patients using transient elastography, and to identify factors associated with ALF.
METHODS: Between September 2008 and October 2009, 71 HIV mono-infected, 57 HIV/HCV co-infected and 53 HCV mono-infected patients on regular follow-up at our Center were enrolled in this study. Alcohol intake, the main parameters of liver function, presence of HCV-RNA, HIV-RNA, duration of highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) and CD4 cell count were recorded. ALF was defined as liver stiffness (LS) ≥ 9.5 kPa. To estimate liver fibrosis (LF) a further 2 reliable biochemical scores, aspartate aminotransferase platelet ratio index (APRI) and FIB-4, were also used.
RESULTS: LS values of co-infected patients were higher than in either HIV or HCV mono-infected patients (χ2MH = 4, P < 0.04). In fact, LS ≥ 9.5 was significantly higher in co-infected than in HIV and HCV mono-infected patients (χ2 = 5, P < 0.03). Also APRI and the FIB-4 index showed more LF in co-infected than in HIV mono-infected patients (P < 0.0001), but not in HCV mono-infected patients. In HIV⁄HCV co-infected patients, the extent of LS was significantly associated with alcohol intake (P < 0.04) and lower CD4+ cell count (P < 0.02). In HCV patients, LS was correlated with alcohol intake (P < 0.001) and cholesterol levels (P < 0.03). Body mass index, diabetes, HCV- and HIV-viremia were not significantly correlated with LS. In addition, 20% of co-infected patients had virologically unsuccessful HAART; in 50% compliance was low, CD4+ levels were < 400 cells/mm3 and LS was > 9.5 kPa. There was no significant correlation between extent of LF and HAART exposure or duration of HAART exposure, in particular with specific dideoxynucleoside analogues.
CONCLUSION: ALF was more frequent in co-infected than mono-infected patients. This result correlated with lower CD4 levels. Protective immunological effects of HAART on LF progression outweigh its hepatotoxic effects.
doi:10.3748/wjg.v16.i41.5225
PMCID: PMC2975093  PMID: 21049556
Liver fibrosis; Transient elastography; Aspartate aminotransferase platelet ratio index; FIB-4 test; Fibrosis evaluation; Human immunodeficiency virus infection; Hepatitis C virus infection
4.  Use of the AST to platelet ratio index in HCV/HIV co-infected patients 
SUMMARY
Background
The AST to platelet ratio index (APRI), a non-invasive marker of liver fibrosis, has not been well studied in HCV/HIV (hepatitis C virus/human immunodeficiency virus) co-infected patients with advanced HIV.
Aim
To compare the accuracy of APRI in HCV/HIV co-infected patients to that in HCV mono-infected patients and to determine the impact of CD4+ T-cell counts on its performance.
Methods
We identified 106 consecutive HCV/HIV co-infected patients and 105 matched HCV mono-infected patients who underwent liver biopsy at Harborview Medical Center over a 5-year period. Performance characteristics were calculated and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis conducted.
Results
The area under the ROC curve (AUROC) of APRI for predicting significant fibrosis was similar when comparing those with and without HIV co-infection (0.77 vs. 0.86, P = 0.18), but was lower in HIV co-infected patients with CD4 counts <250 cells/mm3 (0.64 vs. 0.86, P = 0.05). In HIV co-infected patients with CD4 counts ≥250, APRI had higher negative predictive value (93% vs. 88%, P = 0.57), positive predictive value (63% vs. 40%, P = 0.43) and specificity (95% vs. 88%, P = 0.05) than in those with lower CD4 counts.
Conclusions
The AST to platelet ratio index (APRI) performance characteristics appear to be suboptimal in HCV/HIV co-infected patients with CD4 counts <250 and they require further study in this population at increased risk for advanced liver disease.
doi:10.1111/j.1365-2036.2010.04560.x
PMCID: PMC3552516  PMID: 21205257
5.  Transient elastography discloses identical distribution of liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C between HIV-negative and HIV-positive patients on HAART 
Objective
Progressive immunodeficiency associated with HIV-infection leads to a progressive course of liver disease in HIV/HCV-co-infected patients. Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) efficiently restores and preserves immune functions and has recently been demonstrated to also result in reduced liver-related mortality in HIV/HCV-co-infected patients.
Methods
To analyse differences in current liver fibrosis as a possible effect of HAART on fibrosis progression we assessed hepatic fibrosis by transient elastography in a cross-sectional comparison between HCV-mono-infected and HIV/HCV-co-infected patients presenting at our outpatient department in 2007.
Results
Overall, we did not find any difference in the distribution of liver stiffness between mono- (n = 84) and double-infected (n = 57) patients (14.4 kPa (10.8 - 18.2) versus 12.4 kPa (9.1 - 16.1), mean (95%-CI)). However, in the 8 HIV+ patients with CD4 counts < 200/μl liver stiffness was markedly greater (18.4 kPa (0.8 - 36.0)) than in HIV+ patients with preserved immunity (11.5 kPa (8.4 - 15.0)).
Conclusions
These findings are in line with other data that show an improved prognosis of chronic hepatitis C in HIV+ patients under effective HAART, and may be a hint that fibrosis progression in well-treated HIV+ patients will no longer be different from that in HCV-mono-infected patients.
doi:10.1186/2047-783X-15-4-139
PMCID: PMC3400998  PMID: 20554494
Liver fibrosis; HIV; HCV; transelastography
6.  The Relation of HLA Genotype to Hepatitis C Viral Load and Markers of Liver Fibrosis in HIV-Infected and HIV-Uninfected Women 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2011;203(12):1807-1814.
Background. Human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I and II genotype is associated with clearance of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, but little is known regarding its relation with HCV viral load or risk of liver disease in patients with persistent HCV infection.
Methods. High-resolution HLA class I and II genotyping was conducted in a prospective cohort of 519 human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–seropositive and 100 HIV-seronegative women with persistent HCV infection. The end points were baseline HCV viral load and 2 noninvasive indexes of liver disease, fibrosis-4 (FIB-4), and the aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index (APRI), measured at baseline and prospectively.
Results. DQB1*0301 was associated with low baseline HCV load (β = −.4; 95% confidence interval [CI], −.6 to −.3; P < .00001), as well as with low odds of FIB-4–defined (odds ratio [OR], .5; 95% CI, .2–.9; P = .02) and APRI-defined liver fibrosis (OR, .5; 95% CI, .3–1.0; P = .06) at baseline and/or during follow-up. Most additional associations with HCV viral load also involved HLA class II alleles. Additional associations with FIB-4 and APRI primarily involved class I alleles, for example, the relation of B*1503 with APRI-defined fibrosis had an OR of 2.0 (95% CI, 1.0–3.7; P = .04).
Conclusions. HLA genotype may influence HCV viral load and risk of liver disease, including DQB1*0301, which was associated with HCV clearance in prior studies.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jir192
PMCID: PMC3100515  PMID: 21606539
7.  HIV Monoinfection Is Associated With Increased Aspartate Aminotransferase-to-Platelet Ratio Index, a Surrogate Marker for Hepatic Fibrosis 
The Journal of Infectious Diseases  2012;205(6):1005-1013.
Background. Although liver disease commonly causes morbidity and mortality among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected individuals, data are limited on its prevalence in HIV monoinfection. We used the aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI) as a surrogate marker of hepatic fibrosis to characterize liver disease in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study.
Methods. Men were categorized based on their HIV and viral hepatitis status: uninfected (n = 1170), HIV monoinfected (n = 509), viral hepatitis monoinfected (n = 74), and HIV–viral hepatitis coinfected (n = 66).
Results. The median APRI in the HIV-monoinfected group was similar to that in the hepatitis-monoinfected group (0.42 vs 0.43; P > .05), higher than in the uninfected group (0.42 vs 0.27; P < .001) but lower than in the coinfected group (0.42 vs 1.0; P < .001). On multivariable analysis, HIV infection (1.39-fold increase [FI]; P < .001), viral hepatitis infection (1.52-FI; P < .001), and the interaction between HIV and viral hepatitis infections were independently associated with a higher APRI (1.57-FI; P < .001). Among the HIV-infected men, viral hepatitis coinfection (2.34-FI; P < .001), HIV RNA ≥100 000 copies/mL (1.26-FI; P = .007), and CD4 count ≤200 cells/mL (1.23-FI; P = .022) were independently associated with a higher APRI.
Conclusions. HIV and viral hepatitis are independently associated with an increased APRI. Further studies are needed to understand the biological basis for the association between HIV and liver disease.
doi:10.1093/infdis/jir885
PMCID: PMC3282573  PMID: 22291196
8.  Impact of hepatitis C virus co-infection on HIV patients before and after highly active antiretroviral therapy: an immunological and clinical chemistry observation, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia 
BMC Immunology  2013;14:23.
Background
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) is an RNA virus which has been known to cause acute and chronic necro-inflammatory disease of the liver. It is the leading cause of end-stage liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma. HIV is known to have a negative impact on the natural disease outcome and immune response of HCV infection, whereas the reverse remains unclear. We evaluated the impact of HCV co-infection on recovery of CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells and liver enzyme levels before and after initiation of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in HIV/HCV co-infected patients.
Methods
A hospital-based, observational, prospective cohort study design was used for this study. Pre-antiretroviral treatment (Pre-ART) and under HAART HIV mono-infected and HCV/HIV co-infected individuals who are under regular follow-up were recruited for this study. 387 blood samples were collected from volunteer, known HIV positive Ethiopian patients and screened for HCV. Twenty five HCV/HIV co-infected patients were prospectively followed for four years. CD4+ and CD8+ T-cells and liver enzyme levels were determined annually for each of the participant.
Results
The prevalence of HCV/HIV co-infection in this study was 6.5%. Both HCV/HIV co-infected and HIV mono-infected under HAART groups showed CD4+ recovery (343 Vs 426; P < 0.004, OR = 4.97, 95% CI = 2.41 to 10.27) respectively; but, the recovery rate was higher in mono-infected (80 Vs 426) than co-infected group (148 Vs 343). The recovery and/or decline pattern of CD8+ T-cells was the same with that of CD4+. In 75% of co-infected groups, the mean alanine aminotransferase (ALT) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels were above the upper limit of normal reference range. Analyses restricted to individuals who initiated HAART and pre-ART showed similar results.
Conclusion
We found that CD4+ T-cell recovery was negatively affected by the presence of ongoing HCV replication in under HAART co-infected individuals and fast decline of CD4+ T-cells in pre-ART patients. It was also associated with increased ALT and AST enzyme levels in both HAART initiated and treatment naïve co-infected patients.
doi:10.1186/1471-2172-14-23
PMCID: PMC3663769  PMID: 23679118
Immunological; HCV/HIV co-infection; Pre-ART; HAART; CD4+; CD8+; GOT; GPT; Alkaline phosphatase
9.  The insulin-like growth factor axis and risk of liver disease in hepatitis C virus/HIV-co-infected women 
AIDS (London, England)  2008;22(4):527-531.
Objective
Insulin-like growth factor (IGF) I stimulates the proliferation of hepatic stellate cells (HSC), the primary source of extracellular matrix accumulation in liver fibrosis. In contrast, insulin-like growth factor binding protein (IGFBP) 3, the most abundant IGFBP in circulation, negatively modulates HSC mitogenesis. To investigate the role of the IGF axis in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related liver disease among high-risk patients, we prospectively evaluated HCV-viremic/HIV-positive women.
Design
A cohort investigation.
Methods
Total IGF-I and IGFBP-3 were measured in baseline serum specimens obtained from 472 HCV-viremic/HIV-positive subjects enrolled in the Women's Inter-agency HIV Study, a large multi-institutional cohort. The aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index (APRI), a marker of liver fibrosis, was assessed annually.
Results
Normal APRI levels (< 1.0) at baseline were detected in 374 of the 472 HCV-viremic/HIV-positive subjects tested, of whom 302 had complete liver function test data and were studied. IGF-I was positively associated [adjusted odds ratio comparing the highest and lowest quartiles (AORq4–q1), 5.83; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.17–29.1; Ptrend = 0.03], and IGFBP-3 was inversely associated (AORq4–q1, 0.13; 95% CI 0.02–0.76; Ptrend = 0.04), with subsequent (incident) detection of an elevated APRI level(> 1.5), after adjustment for the CD4 T-cell count, alcohol consumption, and other risk factors.
Conclusion
High IGF-I may be associated with increased risk and high IGFBP-3 with reduced risk of liver disease among HCV-viremic/HIV-positive women.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e3282f22cdf
PMCID: PMC3507535  PMID: 18301066
aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index; APRI; hepatitis C virus (HCV); HIV; IGFBP-3; IGF; liver disease
10.  Neurocognitive Effects of HIV, Hepatitis C, and Substance Use History 
HIV-associated neurocognitive dysfunction persists in the highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) era and may be exacerbated by comorbidities, including substance use and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. However, the neurocognitive impact of HIV, HCV, and substance use in the HAART era is still not well understood. In the current study, 115 HIV-infected and 72 HIV-seronegative individuals with significant rates of lifetime substance dependence and HCV infection received comprehensive neuropsychological assessment. We examined the effects of HIV serostatus, HCV infection, and substance use history on neurocognitive functioning. We also examined relationships between HIV disease measures (current and nadir CD4, HIV RNA, duration of infection) and cognitive functioning. Approximately half of HIV-infected participants exhibited neurocognitive impairment. Detectable HIV RNA but not HIV serostatus was significantly associated with cognitive functioning. HCV was among the factors most consistently associated with poorer neurocognitive performance across domains, while substance use was less strongly associated with cognitive performance. The results suggest that neurocognitive impairment continues to occur in HIV-infected individuals in association with poor virologic control and comorbid conditions, particularly HCV coinfection.
doi:10.1017/S1355617711001408
PMCID: PMC4031745  PMID: 22132928
Neuropsychology; HIV-1; Chronic hepatitis C; Viral load; Cocaine dependence; Opiate dependence
11.  Hepatic steatosis in patients with HIV-Hepatitis C Virus coinfection: is it associated with antiretroviral therapy and more advanced hepatic fibrosis? 
BMC Research Notes  2008;1:46.
Background and aims
Patients with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection are at increased risk of developing hepatic steatosis. The aims of this study were to assess the prevalence of steatosis in a cohort with HIV-HCV coinfection, and to determine an association, if any, between steatosis, antiretroviral therapy (ART), and advanced hepatic fibrosis.
Patients and methods
HIV-HCV coinfected patients were retrospectively identified from the HIV clinic. ART was classified as none, nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) only, highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) only, and sequential therapy (initial NRTIs followed by HAART). Fibrosis stage and necroinflammation grade were assessed by the modified HAI (Ishak) scoring method. Steatosis was graded as 0–3.
Results
Sixty patients were identified. The overall prevalence of hepatic steatosis was 58%. Those that received HAART only had a lower prevalence of steatosis (41%) compared to those on NRTIs only (70%) or sequential therapy (82%). Independent predictors of hepatic steatosis were absence of HAART only therapy, OR 2.9, p = 0.09, and presence of cirrhosis, OR 4.6, p = 0.044. Forty five percent of the patients had advanced fibrosis (fibrosis stage ≥ 3). NI grade (OR 1.9, p = 0.030), and steatosis grade (OR 3.6, p = 0.045), were independent predictors of advanced fibrosis.
Conclusion
Hepatic steatosis is associated with more advanced hepatic fibrosis in the HIV-HCV coinfected population. HAART only therapy (rather than NRTIs only or sequential therapy) appears to be associated with a lower prevalence of hepatic steatosis. This may be one of the mechanisms by which HAART could attenuate hepatic fibrosis in such a cohort.
doi:10.1186/1756-0500-1-46
PMCID: PMC2527001  PMID: 18710499
12.  Noninvasive assessment of liver fibrosis with the aspartate transaminase to platelet ratio index (APRI): Usefulness in patients with chronic liver disease 
Hepatitis Monthly  2011;11(2):103-106.
Background
The aspartate aminotransferases (AST) to platelet ratio index (APRI) may serve as a noninvasive marker to assess liver fibrosis.
Objectives
To assess the diagnostic ability of the APRI for prediction of fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB), chronic hepatitis C (CHC), and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD).
Patients and Methods
This retrospective study included 207 patients with CHB, 108 with CHC, and 140 patients with NAFLD. The APRI was calculated as (AST level/upper normal limit for AST)/platelet counts (109/L) × 100. The stage of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic viral hepatitis was graded using the METAVIR scale. The Kleiner system for grading fibrosis was used in patients with NAFLD.
Results
Bivariate correlation analyses showed that the APRI was significantly associated with fibrosis scores in patients with CHC (p = 0.2634, p = 0.0059) and NAFLD (p = 0.2273, p = 0.0069), but not in those with CHB (p = 0.1005, p = 0.1495). Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were used for assessing the ability of the APRI as a predictor of the absence or presence of liver fibrosis (fibrosis score of 0 vs fibrosis scores of 1-4). In patients with CHC, the APRI showed a sensitivity of 72.7% and a specificity of 62.4% for detection of fibrosis (p<0.01). In the NAFLD group, the APRI showed a sensitivity of 60.0% and specificity of 73.3% for detection of fibrosis (p<0.01). In patients with CHB, the APRI showed a sensitivity of 55.0% and a specificity of 75.4% for fibrosis (p=NS).
Conclusions
The APRI shows an acceptable accuracy for the assessment of liver fibrosis in patients with CHC and NAFLD, but not in those with CHB.
PMCID: PMC3206675  PMID: 22087126
Chronic hepatitis C; Chronic hepatitis B; Fatty liver; Fibrosis; Aspartate aminotransferases
13.  Total and High Molecular Weight Adiponectin and Hepatocellular Carcinoma with HCV Infection 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(11):e26840.
Background
Adiponectin is shown to be inversely associated with development and progression of various cancers. We evaluated whether adiponectin level was associated with the prevalence and histological grade of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and liver fibrosis in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.
Methods
A case-control study was conducted on 97 HCC patients (cases) and 97 patients (controls) matched for sex, Child-Pugh grade and platelet count in patients with HCV infection. The serum total and high molecular weight (HMW) adiponectin levels were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assays and examined in their association with the prevalence of HCC. In addition, the relationship between these adiponectin levels and body mass index (BMI), progression of liver fibrosis, and histological grade of HCC was also evaluated. Liver fibrosis was assessed using the aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index (APRI).
Results
There were no significant differences in the serum total and HMW adiponectin levels between cases and controls. Moreover, there were no inverse associations between serum total and HMW adiponectin levels and BMI in both cases and controls. On the other hand, serum total and HMW adiponectin levels are positively correlated with APRI in both cases (r = 0.491, P<0.001 and r = 0.485, P<0.001, respectively) and controls (r = 0.482, P<0.001 and r = 0.476, P<0.001, respectively). Interestingly, lower serum total (OR 11.76, 95% CI: 2.97–46.66 [P<0.001]) and HMW (OR 10.24, CI: 2.80–37.40 [P<0.001] adiponectin levels were independent risk factors of worse histological grade of HCC.
Conclusions
Our results suggested that serum total and HMW adiponectin levels were predictors of liver fibrosis, but not prevalence of HCC in patients with HCV infection. Moreover, low these adiponectin levels were significantly associated with worse histological grades.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0026840
PMCID: PMC3215705  PMID: 22110596
14.  Focus on the Liver: Alcohol Use, Highly Active Antiretroviral Therapy, and Liver Disease In HIV-Infected Patients 
Alcohol Research & Health  2010;33(3):229-236.
Since the introduction of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in the 1990s, liver disease is emerging as a major cause of morbidity and mortality among HIV-infected patients. This is attributed to a variety of factors, including HAART hepatotoxicity, coinfection with hepatitis B and C virus (HBV and HCV, respectively), and alcohol abuse. Several studies have examined the effects of HAART and HCV/HBV coinfection on liver toxicity. However, the impact of alcohol consumption as a cofactor for hepatotoxicity in HIV patients is only beginning to be understood. Similar to the general population, alcohol use is common in the HIV population but is often overlooked by health care providers. Approximately 25 percent of recently diagnosed HIV patients are alcohol dependent; moreover, alcohol dependence has been associated with HIV treatment failure. Alcohol/HAART interactions appear crucial for the development of liver disease in HIV patients. Recent research has shown that alcohol abuse is associated with severe hepatotoxicity in patients on HAART. Importantly, alcoholic- and HAART-induced liver disease share many potential mechanisms of injury, including altered metabolism of certain signaling molecules (i.e., cytokines) and dysfunction of some cell components (i.e., proteasomes and mitochondria).
PMCID: PMC3860514  PMID: 23584064
Alcohol consumption; alcohol abuse; alcohol dependence; human immunodeficiency virus; highly active antiretroviral therapy; liver disease; hepatitis B; hepatitis C; hepatoxicity
15.  Treatment of Recurrent Hepatocellular Carcinoma with Sorafenib in a HIV/HCV Co-Infected patient in HAART: A Case Report 
Background
Liver disease is the second cause of death among HIV patients receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) in Europe. HIV patients have a high prevalence of chronic HBV (6–10%) and HCV (33%) co-infection, and accelerated progression of viral hepatitis. Furthermore, the long duration of both HIV and HCV diseases in the HAART era increases the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Findings
We report the case of a 49 year -old HIV/HCV co-infected male patient who developed hepatocellular carcinoma. The patient underwent a partial hepatectomy, and a few months later was treated with transcatheter arterial chemoembolisation due to hepatocarcinoma recurrence. Two months later, advanced hepatocellular carcinoma was diagnosed and sorafenib therapy was initiated. The patient achieved partial response of the main lesions, complete regression of the smallest lesions and did not experience clinical progression during the 20-month follow-up period. During therapy with sorafenib, the patient was treated with HAART with good viral and immunological responses. We used the therapeutic drug monitoring to assess antiretroviral concentrations during co-administration of sorafenib. Fosamprenavir Ctrough was found under the minimum level recommended by international guidelines. No grade 3 or 4 toxicities were observed. At month 20 of treatment, new liver lesions with portal vein thrombosis were diagnosed. After 28 months of sorafenib therapy, the patient deceased for severe liver insufficiency.
Conclusions
Sorafenib monotherapy demonstrated a marked delay in HCC disease progression in an HIV/HCV co-infected patient. Fosamprenavir Ctrough was found under the minimum level recommended by international guidelines, suggesting a possible interaction.
doi:10.1186/1750-9378-7-15
PMCID: PMC3508865  PMID: 22741810
HAART; Sorafenib; Fosamprenavir; TDM; Hepatocarcinoma; HIV/HCV co-infection
16.  Elevation of the glycated albumin to glycated hemoglobin ratio during the progression of hepatitis C virus related liver fibrosis 
World Journal of Hepatology  2012;4(1):11-17.
AIM: To analyze the relationship between the glycated albumin (GA) to glycated hemoglobin (HbA1c) ratio and the histological grading of liver fibrosis.
METHODS: The study retrospectively included consecutive hepatitis C virus positive chronic liver disease patients (n = 142) who had undergone percutaneous liver biopsy between January 2008 and March 2010 at our institution. The ratios of GA/HbA1c were calculated in all patients to investigate the relationship with the degree of the liver fibrosis. The values of the aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI), an excellent marker for the evaluation of liver fibrosis, were also calculated. In addition, we combined the ratio of GA/HbA1c and the APRI in order to improve our ability to detect the presence of significant liver fibrosis.
RESULTS: Sixty-one (43%) patients had either no fibrosis or minimal fibrosis (METAVIR score: F0-F1), while 25 (17%) had intermediate fibrosis (F2). Fifty-six (39%) patients had severe fibrosis (F3-F4) and 27 of them had cirrhosis (F4). The mean values of the GA/HbA1c increased with the progression of the fibrosis (F0-1: 2.83 ± 0.24, F2: 2.85 ± 0.24, F3: 2.92 ± 0.35, F4: 3.14 ± 0.54). There was a significant difference between the F0-F1 vs F4, F2 vs F4, and F3 vs F4 groups (P < 0.01, P < 0.01, P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively). The GA/HbA1c ratio was significantly higher in the patients with cirrhosis (F4) than in those without cirrhosis (F0-F3) (3.14 ± 0.54 vs 2.85 ± 0.28, P < 0.0001). The GA/HbA1c ratio was also significantly higher in the patients with severe fibrosis (F3-F4) than in those without severe liver fibrosis (F0-F2) (3.03 ± 0.41 vs 2.84 ± 0.24, P < 0.001). Furthermore, the GA/HbA1c ratio was also significantly higher in the patients with significant fibrosis (F2-F4) than in those without significant liver fibrosis (F0-F1) (2.98 ± 0.41 vs 2.83 ± 0.24, P < 0.001). The diagnostic performance of the increased GA/HbA1c ratio (> 3.0) was as follows: its sensitivity and specificity for the detection of liver cirrhosis (F4) were 59.3% and 70.4%, respectively and its sensitivity and specificity for the detection of severe liver fibrosis (F3-F4) were 50.0% and 74.4%, respectively. With regard to the detection of significant fibrosis (F2-F4), its sensitivity was 44.4% and its specificity was 77.0%. Although even the excellent marker APRI shows low sensitivity (25.9%) for distinguishing patients with or without significant fibrosis, the combination of the APRI and GA/HbA1c ratio increased the sensitivity up to 42.0%, with only a modest decrease in the specificity (from 90.2% to 83.6%).
CONCLUSION: The GA/HbA1c ratio increased in line with the histological severity of liver fibrosis, thus suggesting that this ratio is useful as a supportive index of liver fibrosis.
doi:10.4254/wjh.v4.i1.11
PMCID: PMC3272076  PMID: 22312451
Glycated albumin; Glycated hemoglobin; Liver fibrosis; Liver biopsy; Hepatitis C virus
17.  Prevalence and risk factors for significant liver fibrosis among HIV-monoinfected patients 
BMC Infectious Diseases  2010;10:116.
Background
HIV-monoinfected patients may be at risk for significant liver fibrosis, but its prevalence and determinants in these patients are unknown. Since HIV-monoinfected patients do not routinely undergo liver biopsy, we evaluated the prevalence and risk factors of significant hepatic fibrosis in this group using the aspartate aminotransferase (AST)-to-platelet ratio index (APRI).
Methods
We conducted a cross-sectional study among HIV-infected patients negative for hepatitis B surface antigen and hepatitis C antibody in the Penn Center for AIDS Research Adult/Adolescent Database. Clinical and laboratory data were collected from the database at enrollment. Hypothesized determinants of significant fibrosis were modifiable risk factors associated with liver disease progression, hepatic fibrosis, or hepatotoxicity, including immune dysfunction (i.e., CD4 T lymphocyte count <200 cells/mm3, HIV viremia), diseases associated with hepatic steatosis (e.g., obesity, diabetes mellitus), and use of antiretroviral therapy. The primary outcome was an APRI score >1.5, which suggests significant hepatic fibrosis. Multivariable logistic regression identified independent risk factors for significant fibrosis by APRI.
Results
Among 432 HIV-monoinfected patients enrolled in the CFAR Database between November 1999 and May 2008, significant fibrosis by APRI was identified in 36 (8.3%; 95% CI, 5.9 - 11.4%) patients. After controlling for all other hypothesized risk factors as well as active alcohol use and site, detectable HIV viremia (adjusted OR, 2.56; 95% CI, 1.02 - 8.87) and diabetes mellitus (adjusted OR, 3.15; 95% CI, 1.12 - 10.10) remained associated with significant fibrosis by APRI.
Conclusions
Significant fibrosis by APRI score was found in 8% of HIV-monoinfected patients. Detectable HIV viremia and diabetes mellitus were associated with significant fibrosis. Future studies should explore mechanisms for fibrosis in HIV-monoinfected patients.
doi:10.1186/1471-2334-10-116
PMCID: PMC2876168  PMID: 20465840
18.  Diagnostic accuracy of the aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index for the prediction of hepatitis B-related fibrosis: a leading meta-analysis 
BMC Gastroenterology  2012;12:14.
Background
The aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI), a tool with limited expense and widespread availability, is a promising noninvasive alternative to liver biopsy for detecting hepatic fibrosis. The objective of this study was to systematically review the performance of the APRI in predicting significant fibrosis and cirrhosis in hepatitis B-related fibrosis.
Methods
Areas under summary receiver operating characteristic curves (AUROC), sensitivity and specificity were used to examine the accuracy of the APRI for the diagnosis of hepatitis B-related significant fibrosis and cirrhosis. Heterogeneity was explored using meta-regression.
Results
Nine studies were included in this meta-analysis (n = 1,798). Prevalence of significant fibrosis and cirrhosis were 53.1% and 13.5%, respectively. The summary AUCs of the APRI for significant fibrosis and cirrhosis were 0.79 and 0.75, respectively. For significant fibrosis, an APRI threshold of 0.5 was 84% sensitive and 41% specific. At the cutoff of 1.5, the summary sensitivity and specificity were 49% and 84%, respectively. For cirrhosis, an APRI threshold of 1.0-1.5 was 54% sensitive and 78% specific. At the cutoff of 2.0, the summary sensitivity and specificity were 28% and 87%, respectively. Meta-regression analysis indicated that the APRI accuracy for both significant fibrosis and cirrhosis was affected by histological classification systems, but not influenced by the interval between Biopsy & APRI or blind biopsy.
Conclusion
Our meta-analysis suggests that APRI show limited value in identifying hepatitis B-related significant fibrosis and cirrhosis.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-12-14
PMCID: PMC3306191  PMID: 22333407
APRI; HBV; liver fibrosis; diagnostic accuracy; meta-analysis
19.  ASSOCIATION OF COMPLEMENTARY AND ALTERNATIVE MEDICINE USE WITH HIGHLY ACTIVE ANTIRETROVIRAL THERAPY INITIATION 
Objective
To assess whether complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) use is associated with the timing of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) initiation among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected participants of the Women’s Interagency HIV Study.
Study Methods
Prospective cohort study between January 1996 and March 2002. Differences in the cumulative incidence of HAART initiation were compared between CAM users and non–CAM users using a logrank test. Cox regression model was used to assess associations of CAM exposures with time to HAART initiation.
Main Outcome and Exposures
Study outcome was time from January 1996 to initiation of HAART. Primary exposure was use of any CAM modality before January 1996, and secondary exposures included the number and type of CAM modalities used (ingestible CAM medication, body practice, or spiritual healing) during the same period.
Results
One thousand thirty-four HIV-infected women contributed a total of 4987 person-visits during follow-up. At any time point, the cumulative incidence of HAART initiation among CAM users was higher than that among non–CAM users. After adjustment for potential confounders, those reporting CAM use were 1.34 times (95% confidence interval: 1.09, 1.64) more likely to initiate HAART than non–CAM users.
Conclusion
Female CAM users initiated HAART regimens earlier than non–CAM users. Initiation of HAART is an important clinical marker, but more research is needed to elucidate the role specific CAM modalities play in HIV disease progression.
PMCID: PMC2651402  PMID: 18780580
20.  Hepatitis B and long-term HIV outcomes in co-infected HAART recipients 
AIDS (London, England)  2009;23(14):1881-1889.
Chronic hepatitis B (CH-B) is common among HIV-infected individuals and increases liver-related mortality in the absence of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). The impact of CH-B on long-term HAART outcomes has not been fully characterized.
Methods
To address this question, HAART initiators enrolled in the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study (MACS) were retrospectively analyzed. Subjects were classified by hepatitis B category based on serology at the time of HAART initiation. The association of CH-B with mortality, AIDS defining illnesses, CD4 rise, and HIV suppression was assessed using regression analysis.
Results
Of 816 men followed for a median of 7 years on HAART, 350 were never HBV infected, 357 had past infection, 45 had CH-B, and 64 were only core-antibody positive. Despite HAART, AIDS-related mortality was the most common cause of death (8.3/1000 person-years (PYs)). It was highest in those with CH-B (17/1000 PYs, 95% CI 7.3, 42) and lowest among never HBV infected (2.9/1000 PYs, 95% CI 1.4, 6.4). In a multivariable model, patients with CH-B had a 2.7-fold higher incidence of AIDS-related mortality compared to those never infected (P=0.08). Non-AIDS-related mortality was also highest among those with CH-B (22/1000 PYs), primarily due to liver disease (compared to never infected, adjusted HR 4.1, p=0.04). There was no significant difference in AIDS defining events, HIV RNA suppression, and CD4 increase.
Conclusion
In HIV-infected patients receiving long-term HAART, HBV status did not influence HIV suppression or CD4 increase. However, mortality was highest among those with CH-B and was mostly due to liver disease despite HBV-active HAART.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e32832e463a
PMCID: PMC2861825  PMID: 19550291
hepatitis B; HIV; HAART; CD4; mortality; isolated core hepatitis B
21.  The efficacy of aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index for assessing hepatic fibrosis in childhood nonalcoholic steatohepatitis for medical practice 
Korean Journal of Pediatrics  2013;56(1):19-25.
Purpose
Childhood obesity is associated with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and it has become one of the most common causes of childhood chronic liver diseases which significant as a cause of liver related mortality and morbidity in children in the United States. The development of simpler and easier clinical indices for medical practice is needed to identify advanced hepatic fibrosis in childhood NAFLD instead of invasive method like liver biopsy. FibroScan and aspartate aminotransferase (AST)-to-platelet ratio index (APRI) have been proposed as a simple and noninvasive predictor to evaluate hepatic fibrosis in several liver diseases. APRI could be a good alternative to detect pathologic change in childhood NAFLD. The purpose of this study is to validate the efficacy of APRI for assessing hepatic fibrosis in childhood NAFLD based on FibroScan.
Methods
This study included 23 children with NAFLD who underwent FibroScan. Clinical, laboratory and radiological evaluation including APRI was performed. To confirm the result of this study, 6 patients received liver biopsy.
Results
Factors associated with hepatic fibrosis (stiffness measurement >5.9 kPa Fibroscan) were triglyceride, AST, alanine aminotransferase, platelet count, APRI and collagen IV. In multivariate analysis, APRI were correlated with hepatic fibrosis (>5.9 kPa). In receiver operating characteristics curve, APRI of meaningful fibrosis (cutoff value, 0.4669; area under the receiver operating characteristics, 0.875) presented sensitivity of 94%, specificity of 66%, positive predictive value of 94%, and negative predictive value of 64%.
Conclusion
APRI might be a noninvasive, simple, and readily available method for medical practice to predict hepatic fibrosis of childhood NAFLD.
doi:10.3345/kjp.2013.56.1.19
PMCID: PMC3564026  PMID: 23390441
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; Hepatic fibrosis; APRI; Child
22.  Subclinical coronary atherosclerosis, HIV infection and antiretroviral therapy: Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study 
AIDS (London, England)  2008;22(13):1589-1599.
Objective
To evaluate the association of HIV infection and cumulative exposure to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) with the presence and extent of coronary artery calcification (CAC).
Design
A cross-sectional study of 947 male participants (332 HIV-seronegative, 84 HAART-naive and 531 HAART-experienced HIV-infected) from the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study.
Methods
The main outcome was CAC score calculated as the geometric mean of the Agatston scores of two computed tomography replicates. Presence of CAC was defined as calcification score above 10, and extent of CAC by the score for those with CAC present. Multivariable regression was used to evaluate the association between HIV infection and HAART and presence and extent of calcification.
Results
Increasing age was most strongly associated with both prevalence and extent of CAC for all study groups. After adjustment for age, race, family history, smoking, high-density lipoprotein-C, low-density lipoprotein-C and hypertension, HIV infection (odds ratio, 1.35; 95% confidence interval, 0.70, 2.61) and long-term HAART use (odds ratio, 1.33; 95% confidence interval, 0.87, 2.05) increased the odds for presence of CAC. In contrast, after adjustment for these covariates, the extent of CAC was lower among HAART users. Among those not taking lipid-lowering therapy, HAART usage of at least 8 years was associated with significantly reduced CAC scores (relative CAC score, 0.43; 95% confidence interval, 0.24, 0.79).
Conclusion
HAART use may have different effects on the presence and extent of coronary calcification. Although prevalence of calcification was marginally increased among long-term HAART users, the extent of calcification was significantly reduced among HAART users compared with HIV-seronegative controls.
doi:10.1097/QAD.0b013e328306a6c5
PMCID: PMC3633463  PMID: 18670218
23.  Sero-prevalence of hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus among HIV patients in a suburban University Teaching Hospital in South-East Nigeria 
Introduction
Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has improved survival of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) patients. Concurrent morbidities from liver diseases among these patients have also been observed due to co-infection with hepatitis B and C viruses (HBV and HCV). HAART reduces liver-associated morbidities and mortalities in such patients. Unfortunately free testing of HBV and HCV are not provided alongside free HIV testing and treatment in Nigeria. We assessed the seroprevalence of HBV and HCV among HIV patients presenting for treatment in our center.
Methods
This prospective study of adult patients with HIV/AIDS assessed the seroprevalence of HBV and HCV co-infection using a 19-item questionnaire and collection of 2ml venous blood for hepatitis B surface antigens (HBsAg) and anti-HCV antibodies. All previously diagnosed HIV patients of the unit were excluded from the study.
Results
Of the 404 patients, 69.2% were females while 30.8% were males. Married participants were 59.6%, 25.3% were single and 15% were previously married. A large proportion (69%) of patients were farmers, artisans and traders. Most had some formal education; secondary (55.3%), primary 27.3%, tertiary 13.8%. HBsAg positive participants were 9 (2.2%) while 3 (0.7%) were positive for HCV. No participant had triple infection of HIV/HBV/HCV.
Conclusion
Seroprevalence of HBV and HCV is low among HIV patients in Orlu. However there is a need for HBV and HCV testing of all HIV positive patients to reduce morbidities and mortalities from liver diseases.
doi:10.11604/pamj.2013.16.7.3077
PMCID: PMC3926757  PMID: 24570778
HIV; HBV; HCV; co-infection; seroprevalence; liver disease
24.  Discordance Among Transient Elastography, Aspartate Aminotransferase to Platelet Ratio Index, and Histologic Assessments of Liver Fibrosis in Patients With Chronic Hepatitis C 
BACKGROUND & AIMS
Liver biopsy is the standard for assessing hepatic fibrosis. Ultrasound transient elastography (TE) and the aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index (APRI) are validated, noninvasive tests for identifying patients with cirrhosis. We evaluated discordance among TE, APRI, and histology diagnoses of cirrhosis.
METHODS
We analyzed findings from 109 patients with chronic hepatitis C who underwent TE within 6 months of liver biopsy at the US National Institutes of Health from 2006 to 2011. Fibrosis was scored using the Ishak scale (0–6). APRI scores were calculated using data collected on the day of the biopsy. Area under receiver operator characteristic curves for TE and APRI were calculated to distinguish patients with cirrhosis (Ishak scores, 5–6) from those without cirrhosis (Ishak scores, 0–4). The best cut-off value and corresponding positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV) were selected.
RESULTS
Based on biopsy analysis, 18% of the patients had no fibrosis, 52% had mild fibrosis, 17% had bridging fibrosis, and 13% had cirrhosis. A TE cut-off value of 13.1 kPa identified patients with cirrhosis with the highest level of accuracy (100% sensitivity, 89% specificity, 58% PPV, 100% NPV), as did an APRI cut-off value of 1.0 (79% sensitivity, 78% specificity, 34% PPV, 96% NPV). Results from TE and APRI were discordant for 28% of cases. TE identified all cases of cirrhosis and an additional 10 patients who were not found to have cirrhosis based on histology analysis; 7 of these patients had clinical or radiologic evidence of cirrhosis, indicating that the biopsy sample was not staged correctly.
CONCLUSIONS
TE increases the accuracies of biopsy and APRI analyses in identifying patients with cirrhosis. TE also might be used to screen patients for cirrhosis and identify those who should be followed up for development of hepatocellular carcinoma and varices.
doi:10.1016/j.cgh.2012.10.044
PMCID: PMC3642246  PMID: 23142332
HCV; Liver Disease; Cancer Risk; AUROC
25.  Neurologic disorders incidence in HIV+ vs HIV− men 
Neurology  2012;79(18):1873-1880.
Objective:
To study the incidence and pattern of neurologic disorders in a large cohort of HIV-positive men, compared with HIV-negative men, in the era of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
Methods:
The Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study is a prospective study of men who have sex with men enrolled in 4 cities in the United States. We compared HIV-positive vs HIV-negative men for incidence and category of neurologic diagnoses in the HAART era (July 1, 1996, to last known follow-up or death, on or before July 1, 2011).
Results:
There were 3,945 participants alive during the HAART era (2,083 HIV negative, 1,776 HIV positive, and 86 who became infected with HIV during the study period) including 3,427 who were older than 40 years of age. Median age at first neurologic diagnosis among all participants alive in the HAART era was lower in HAART-treated HIV-positive vs HIV-negative men (48 vs 57 years of age, p < 0.001). Incidence of neurologic diagnoses was higher in HAART-treated HIV-positive vs HIV-negative men (younger than 40 years: 11.4 vs 0 diagnoses per 1,000 person-years [p < 0.001]; 40–49 years: 11.6 vs 2.0 [p < 0.001]; 50–60 years: 15.1 vs 3.0 [p < 0.001]; older than 60 years: 17.0 vs 5.7 [p < 0.01]). Excess neurologic disease was found in the categories of nervous system infections (p < 0.001), dementia (p < 0.001), seizures/epilepsy (p < 0.01), and peripheral nervous system disorders (p < 0.001), but not stroke (p = 0.60).
Conclusions:
HIV-positive men receiving HAART have a higher burden of neurologic disease than HIV-negative men and develop neurologic disease at younger ages.
doi:10.1212/WNL.0b013e318271f7b8
PMCID: PMC3525315  PMID: 23077015

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