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World J Hepatol. 2012 Mar 27;4(3):91-8. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v4.i3.91.

Human immunodeficiency virus infection and the liver.

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Megan Crane, Sharon R Lewin, Department of Medicine, Monash University, Melbourne 3004, Australia.


Liver disease in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected individuals encompasses the spectrum from abnormal liver function tests, liver decompensation, with and without evidence of cirrhosis on biopsy, to non-alcoholic liver disease and its more severe form, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and hepatocellular cancer. HIV can infect multiple cells in the liver, leading to enhanced intrahepatic apoptosis, activation and fibrosis. HIV can also alter gastro-intestinal tract permeability, leading to increased levels of circulating lipopolysaccharide that may have an impact on liver function. This review focuses on recent changes in the epidemiology, pathogenesis and clinical presentation of liver disease in HIV-infected patients, in the absence of co-infection with hepatitis B virus or hepatitis C virus, with a specific focus on issues relevant to low and middle income countries.


Human immunodeficiency virus; Liver disease; Low-middle income settings

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