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J Infect Dis. 2005 Dec 1;192(11):1943-9. Epub 2005 Nov 2.

Histological findings and clinical characteristics associated with hepatic steatosis in patients coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C virus.

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Division of International Medicine and Infectious Diseases, Weill Medical College of Cornell University, New York, NY 10021, USA.



Hepatic steatosis, a common histological finding in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients, is associated with severity of fibrosis. The prevalence and significance of steatosis in patients coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and HCV are not well characterized.


To determine the prevalence and severity of steatosis, a single pathologist evaluated liver-biopsy samples from 106 patients coinfected with HIV and HCV but without hepatitis B infection (negative results for hepatitis B surface antigen) for findings associated with steatosis or steatohepatitis and viral hepatitis. Medical records were reviewed retrospectively to elucidate risk factors for steatosis.


Steatosis was present in 56% of biopsy samples, with moderate to severe grades in 9%. Severity of steatosis was associated with fibrosis (odds ratio [OR], 1.84 [95% confidence interval (CI), 1.06-3.20]; P=.03) but not with necroinflammation. In multivariate analysis, the severity of steatosis was associated with lower levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (OR, 0.71 per 10-mg/dL increase [95% CI, 0.52-0.95]; P=.02), higher body-mass index (OR, 1.30 per kg/m2 increase [95% CI, 1.13-1.49]; P<.001), and the presence of lipodystrophy (OR, 3.82 [95% CI, 1.13-12.88]; P=.03). There was a trend toward an association between the severity of steatosis and fibrosis in multivariate analysis (OR, 1.69 [95% CI, 0.91-3.16]; P=.10).


In patients coinfected with HIV and HCV, hepatic steatosis is common and associated with more-advanced fibrosis. Lower levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, higher body-mass index, and lipodystrophy are potentially modifiable risk factors associated with the severity of steatosis.

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