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AIDS Res Hum Retroviruses. 2006 Nov;22(11):1091-8.

Hepatic histologic response (HR) to combination therapy among HCV/HIV-coinfected individuals: interferon induces HR independent of sustained virologic response (SVR).

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Laboratory of Immunoregulation, NIAID, NIH, DHHS, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.


Most HIV/HCV-coinfected patients fail to achieve a sustained virologic response (SVR) to peginterferon-ribavirin therapy. We examined the hepatic histologic response (HR), defined as an improvement in hepatic inflammation scores of two points or more, to combination therapy among HIV/HCV-coinfected subjects. An open label prospective trial treated 32 HIV/HCV-coinfected patients with peginterferon alpha-2b and ribavirin for 48 weeks. Liver biopsies, scored by a single pathologist using the Histology Activity Index (HAI, range 0-18) and Ishak fibrosis scores (range 0-6), were performed before and after treatment. Gene expression profiles of PBMCs were performed using Affymetrix U133A gene chips. A total of 87% of SVR subjects and 88% of nonresponders (NR) had an HR, but no significant change in the liver fibrosis scores was observed (p > 0.05). For genotype 1 patients, a baseline fibrosis score </=2 was related to a higher likelihood of SVR than those with a score >2 (p = 0.012). Combination therapy for HCV among HIV-coinfected subjects resulted in a modest SVR rate. Persons with mild liver disease had a better SVR rate, suggesting early treatment may be beneficial. Combination therapy resulted in an HR for most of the patients, however, further follow-up of these patients will determine the durability of such an HR.

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