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AIDS. 2005 Oct;19 Suppl 3:S116-22.

Effects of hepatic function and hepatitis C virus on the nervous system assessment of advanced-stage HIV-infected individuals.

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  • 1Department of Pathology, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY 10029, USA.



To examine the effects of liver function and hepatitis C virus (HCV) serostatus on neurological, neuropsychological, and psychiatric abnormalities in an advanced-stage HIV-infected cohort.


A correlational analysis of baseline data accumulated on 137 participants in the Manhattan HIV Brain Bank, a longitudinal study of HIV-infected individuals.


Patients underwent a battery of neuropsychological tests, a semi-structured psychiatric interview, and a neurological examination. The resulting diagnostic data were correlated with biochemical indices of hepatic function and HCV serostatus.


Biochemical indices of liver function correlated with motor dysfunction determined by neurological evaluation, but not with neuropsychological or psychiatric disorders. Discrete neurological diagnostic entities showed no relationship with biochemical indices, with one exception: patients with cryptococcal leptomeningitis had worse liver function than those without. HCV had no relationship with any neurological disorder or symptom complex. In contrast, HCV serostatus was related to neuropsychological and psychiatric abnormalities, and indices of liver function were not. HCV-seropositive patients were more likely to have histories of opiate, cocaine or stimulant dependency, to have greater impairment in executive functioning, and to meet diagnostic criteria for AIDS dementia, compared with HCV-negative individuals of similar immunological and virological status.


HCV and biochemical indices of liver function associate differentially with nervous system abnormalities in this HIV-infected population. Neurological abnormalities correlate with biochemical indices of liver function, whereas neuropsychological and psychiatric dysfunction are linked to HCV infection. We postulate that multifactorial impacts of HCV and liver disease on HIV-related nervous system disorders may originate in different anatomical and cellular compartments.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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