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Clin Infect Dis. 2010 Feb 15;50(4):502-11. doi: 10.1086/649922.

Incidence and risk factors for chronic elevation of alanine aminotransferase levels in HIV-infected persons without hepatitis b or c virus co-infection.

Author information

1
Division of Infectious Diseases and Hospital Epidemiology, University Hospital, Zurich, Switzerland. helen.kovari@usz.ch

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Chronic liver disease in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients is mostly caused by hepatitis virus co-infection. Other reasons for chronic alanine aminotransferase (ALT) elevation are more difficult to diagnose.

METHODS:

We studied the incidence of and risk factors for chronic elevation of ALT levels (greater than the upper limit of normal at 2 consecutive semi-annual visits) in participants of the Swiss HIV Cohort Study without hepatitis B virus (HBV) or hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection who were seen during the period 2002-2008. Poisson regression analysis was used.

RESULTS:

A total of 2365 participants were followed up for 9972 person-years (median age, 38 years; male sex, 66%; median CD4+ cell count, 426/microL; receipt of antiretroviral therapy [ART], 56%). A total of 385 participants (16%) developed chronic elevated ALT levels, with an incidence of 3.9 cases per 100 person-years (95% confidence interval [CI], 3.5-4.3 cases per 100 person-years). In multivariable analysis, chronic elevated ALT levels were associated with HIV RNA level >100,000 copies/mL (incidence rate ratio [IRR], 2.23; 95% CI, 1.45-3.43), increased body mass index (BMI, defined as weight in kilograms divided by the square of height in meters) (BMI of 25-29.9 was associated with an IRR of 1.56 [95% CI, 1.24-1.96]; a BMI 30 was associated with an IRR of 1.70 [95% CI, 1.16-2.51]), severe alcohol use (1.83 [1.19-2.80]), exposure to stavudine (IRR per year exposure, 1.12 [95% CI, 1.07-1.17]) and zidovudine (IRR per years of exposure, 1.04 [95% CI, 1.00-1.08]). Associations with cumulative exposure to combination ART, nucleoside reverse-transcriptase inhibitors, and unboosted protease inhibitors did not remain statistically significant after adjustment for exposure to stavudine. Black ethnicity was inversely correlated (IRR, 0.52 [95% CI, 0.33-0.82]). Treatment outcome and mortality did not differ between groups with and groups without elevated ALT levels.

CONCLUSIONS:

Among patients without hepatitis virus co-infection, the incidence of chronic elevated ALT levels was 3.9 cases per 100 person-years, which was associated with high HIV RNA levels, increased BMI, severe alcohol use, and prolonged stavudine and zidovudine exposure. Long-term follow-up is needed to assess whether chronic elevation of ALT levels will result in increased morbidity or mortality.

PMID:
20085465
DOI:
10.1086/649922
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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