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Dtsch Med Wochenschr. 1998 Jun 12;123(24):753-60.

[Chronic hepatitis B and C in HIV-infected patients].

[Article in German]

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Abteilungen für Infektionskrankheiten und Spitalhygiene, Universitätsspital Zürich.



This retrospective study examined the prevalence of co-infections with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) and the frequency of chronic hepatitis in HIV-infected patients with respect to both the different risk groups and the serological results.


All Zurich participants of the Swiss HIV Cohort Study were evaluated who had available results of hepatitis B and C serology and ALT.


Of the total 279 patients, 52% belonged to the intravenous drug user, 34% to the homosexual, and 11% to the heterosexual risk category. Serologically, previously acquired infection with HBV alone could be demonstrated in 92 (33%), HCV alone in 9 (3%), and both HBV and HCV in 130 (47%) patients. Only 3% of patients with sexually acquired HIV infection had anti-HCV antibodies, whereas co-infection with HBV and HCV was present in 87% of intravenous drug users. Among the 222 patients with previous HBV contact, 25 (11%) had positive HBsAg and 91 (41%) had "anti-HBc alone", both assumed to represent active HBV infection. 66 (24%) of 279 patients had chronic hepatitis with ALT elevation lasting > or = 6 months. Chronic hepatitis was present in 46% of those with active HBV and HCV co-infection, in 36% of those with HCV infection alone and in 18% of those with active HBV infection alone (P < 0.001). Of the 66 cases of chronic hepatitis, 58 were associated with HCV infection, and only 2 cases had no serological signs of active HBV or HCV infection.


In patients with sexually acquired HIV infection, HBV had frequently been co-transmitted. In contrast, almost all of those infected by means of intravenous drug use had a co-infection with both HBV and HCV. The latter seems to play the strongest role in the development of chronic hepatitis with persistent ALT elevation. A chronic ALT elevation was almost always associated with serologically active HBV or HCV infection.

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