Fibrosis progression in paired liver biopsies from HIV/HCV co-infected patients

Monica Schiavini, Elena Angeli, Annalisa Mainini, Caterina Uberti-Foppa, Pietro Zerbi, Caterina Sagnelli, Antonietta Cargnel, Gianluca Vago, Pier Giorgio Duca, Riccardo Giorgi, Giuliano Rizzardini, Guido Gubertini

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Background: Chronic hepatitis C is more aggressive during HIV infection. Available data about risk factors of liver fibrosis in HIV/HCV co-infected patients derive from studies based on a single liver biopsy. Objectives: To evaluate the risk factors of liver fibrosis progression (LFP) and to investigate the role of antiretroviral therapy (ARV) in HIV/HCV patients who underwent paired liver biopsy. Patients and Methods: We retrospectively studied 58 patients followed at two Infectious Diseases Departments in Northern Italy during the period 1988-2005. All specimens were double-blinded and centrally examined by two pathologists. LFP was defined when an increase of at least one stage occurred in the second biopsy, according to the Ishak-Knodell classification. Results: In a univariate analysis, serum levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) > 150 IU/L at the first biopsy (P = 0.02), and a > 20% decrease in CD4+ cell count between the two biopsies (P = 0.007), were significantly associated with LFP. In multivariate analysis, a > 20% decrease in CD4+ cell count remained independently associated to LFP (odds ratio, 3.99; 95% confidence interval, 1.25-12.76; P <0.02). Analysis of life survival curves confirmed the correlation between CD4+ cell count and LFP. Conclusions: Our findings highlight that in HIV/HCV coinfected patients, an effective antiretroviral therapy that assures a good immune-virological profile contributes to reducing the risk of LFP.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-531
Number of pages7
JournalHepatitis Monthly
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2011


  • Antiretroviral therapy
  • HCV
  • HIV
  • Liver fibrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Infectious Diseases


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