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Clin Infect Dis. 2001 Feb 1;32(3):492-7. Epub 2001 Jan 23.

Increasing mortality due to end-stage liver disease in patients with human immunodeficiency virus infection.

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  • 1Division of Geographic Medicine and Infectious Diseases, New England Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA.


Highly active antiretroviral therapy has decreased human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-associated mortality; other comorbidities, such as chronic liver disease, are assuming greater importance. We retrospectively examined the causes of death of HIV-seropositive patients at our institution in 1991, 1996, and 1998-1999. In 1998-1999, 11 (50%) of 22 deaths were due to end-stage liver disease, compared with 3 (11.5%) of 26 in 1991 and 5 (13.9%) of 36 in 1996 (P=.003). In 1998-1999, 55% of patients had nondetectable plasma HIV RNA levels and/or CD4 cell counts of >200 cells/mm(3) within the year before death. Most of the patients that were tested had detectable antibodies to hepatitis C virus (75% of patients who died in 1991, 57.7% who died in 1996, and 93.8% who died in 1998-1999; P=NS). In 1998-1999, 7 patients (31.8%) discontinued antiretroviral therapy because of hepatotoxicity, compared with 0 in 1991 and 2 (5.6%) in 1996. End-stage liver disease is now the leading cause of death in our hospitalized HIV-seropositive population.

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