BACKGROUND: Longitudinal assessment of liver fibrosis with transient elastometry (TE) in patients with chronic viral hepatitis is becoming routine clinical practice in many clinics, as this procedure is non-invasive, easy to perform and relatively inexpensive, allowing early detection of cirrhosis. Herein, we examine the incidence of cirrhosis, using TE assessment, in HIV-infected individuals with chronic hepatitis B or C receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART).
METHODS: A longitudinal study was performed on a cohort of HIV-infected patients with chronic hepatitis B or C who were followed since 2004 at Hospital Carlos III (Madrid, Spain) with periodic TE assessments. The primary outcome was the development of cirrhosis, defined as liver stiffness >12.5 KPa.
RESULTS: A total of 508 HIV-infected patients were examined, of whom 54 developed liver cirrhosis during a mean �sd follow-up of 2.6 �1.0 years (overall incidence was 41.13 cases per 1,000 person-years). The risk of developing cirrhosis was significantly higher in 297 HCV-RNA-positive patients (either untreated or non-responders to hepatitis C therapy) compared with 55 patients who had cleared HCV with therapy (odds ratio 3.73, 95% confidence interval 1.06-13.17; P=0.04). By contrast, the risk of developing cirrhosis was low and similar in 24 HIV-HBV-coinfected patients under long-term suppressive HBV therapy (mainly tenofovir disoproxil fumarate), 132 HIV-infected patients without chronic liver disease and those who had cleared HCV with therapy.
CONCLUSIONS: Development of liver cirrhosis in HIV-infected individuals in the HAART era is mainly associated with active HCV coinfection. The risk of developing cirrhosis is negligible in patients who cleared HCV with therapy, as well as in HIV-HBV-coinfected patients on long-term suppressive tenofovir disoproxil fumarate therapy.