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Hepatology. 2001 Dec;34(6):1193-9.

The influence of human immunodeficiency virus coinfection on chronic hepatitis C in injection drug users: a long-term retrospective cohort study.

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  • 1Service d'Hépatologie, INSERM U481 et Centre de Recherche Claude Bernard sur les Hèpatites Virales, Hôpital Beaujon, Clichy, France.

Abstract

In this study we analyzed the influence of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection on the course of chronic hepatitis C through multivariate analysis including age, alcohol consumption, immune status, and hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related virologic factors. Eighty HIV-positive and 80 HIV-negative injection drug users included between 1980 and 1995 were matched according to age, gender, and duration of HCV infection and followed-up during 52 months. The progression to cirrhosis was the primary outcome measure. The impact of HIV on HCV-RNA load, histologic activity index, response to interferon therapy, and liver-related death was also considered. In HIV-positive patients, chronic hepatitis C was characterized by higher serum HCV-RNA levels (P =.012), higher total Knodell score (P =.011), and poorer sustained response to interferon therapy (P =.009). High serum HCV-RNA level was associated with low CD4-lymphocyte count (P =.001). Necroinflamatory score was higher in HIV-positive patients (P =.023) independently of the CD4-lymphocyte count, whereas increased fibrosis was related to decreased CD4-lymphocyte count (P =.011). The progression to cirrhosis was accelerated in HIV-positive patients with low CD4 cell count (RR = 4.06, P =.024) and in interferon-untreated patients (RR = 4.76, P =.001), independently of age at HCV infection (P =.001). Cirrhosis caused death in 5 HIV-positive patients. The risk of death related to cirrhosis was increased in heavy drinkers (RR = 10.8, P =.001) and in HIV-positive patients with CD4 cell count less than 200/mm(3) (RR = 11.9, P =.007). In this retrospective cohort study, HIV coinfection worsened the outcome of chronic hepatitis C, increasing both serum HCV-RNA level and liver damage and decreasing sustained response to interferon therapy. Age and alcohol were cofactors associated with cirrhosis and mortality. Interferon therapy had a protective effect against HCV-related cirrhosis no matter what the patient's HIV status was.

PMID:
11732009
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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