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Clin Infect Dis. 2011 May;52(9):1164-73. doi: 10.1093/cid/cir071.

Evaluation of liver fibrosis: concordance analysis between noninvasive scores (APRI and FIB-4) evolution and predictors in a cohort of HIV-infected patients without hepatitis C and B infection.

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Institute of Infectious and Tropical Diseases, University of Brescia, Italy.



There is lack of data on the incidence of liver fibrosis (LF) progression in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) monoinfection and risk factors for LF.


We performed an observational prospective study in a cohort of HIV-infected patients who had initiated highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). FIB-4 and aspartate aminotransferase (AST)-to-platelet ratio index (APRI) were assessed. The concordance between the 2 scores was assessed by weighted kappa coefficient. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to estimate the incidence of LF. Cox regression analysis was used to assess the predictors of transition.


A total of 1112 patients were observed for a mean of 2249 days of follow-up. The concordance between FIB-4 and APRI was moderate (kappa = .573). The incidence of transition to higher FIB-4 classes was 0.064 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.056-0.072) per person-year of follow-up (PYFU), whereas the incidence of transition to higher APRI classes was 0.099 (95% CI, 0.089-0.110) per PYFU. The incidence of transition to FIB-4 >3.25 was 0.013 per PYFU (95% CI, 0.010-0.017) and 0.018 per PYFU (95% CI, 0.014-0.022) for APRI >1.5. In multivariate analyses, for transition to higher classes, HIV RNA level <500 copies/mL was found to be protective for both scores, and higher CD4+ T cell count was found to be protective for FIB-4. Additional risk factors were age ≥ 40 years, male sex, intravenous drug use as an HIV infection risk factor, higher degree of LF, higher gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (γGT) at baseline, and use of dideoxynucleoside-analogue drugs (DDX). Consistent results for the main study outcomes were obtained for confirmed LF transition and transition to FIB-4 > 3.25 and APR I> 1.5 as study outcomes.


Overall, our results suggest a possible benefit associated with earlier HAART initiation, provided that the effectiveness of HAART is sustained and treatment with DDX is avoided.

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