BioScience Trends. 2017;11(3):274-281. (DOI: 10.5582/bst.2017.01071)

Liver fibrosis after antiretroviral therapy in a longitudinal cohort of sexually infected HIV patients in eastern China.

Wei Q, Lin H, Ding Y, Liu X, Wu Q, Shen W, Gao M, He N


We assessed the factors that influenced improvement or progression in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients who were receiving combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). This was a retrospective cohort study of HIV-infected patients receiving cART in Taizhou, Zhejiang, China, 2009-2015. Liver fibrosis was assessed by Fibrosis-4 (FIB- 4) score. Improvement of liver fibrosis was defined as having > 30% decrease in FIB-4 from baseline, whereas progression of liver fibrosis was defined as having > 30% increase in FIB-4 score from baseline. A total of 955 HIV-infected patients were included. Of these, 808 (84.6%) were HIV-monoinfection, 125 (13.1%) were HIV/hepatitis B virus (HBV) coinfection and 29 (3.0%) were HIV/hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection. The median duration of treatment was 15 months. After treatment, 37.1% participants had > 30% decreases in FIB-4 index, 14.8% had > 30% increases in FIB-4 index, while the remaining 48.2% had stabilized FIB-4 index. In multivariate analysis, improvement of liver fibrosis was negatively associated with an older age, but was positively associated with baseline FIB-4 index and > 30% increases in CD4 cell count after ART. Progression of liver fibrosis was positively associated with an older age, but was negatively associated with gender and HIV transmission mode (male homosexual vs. male heterosexual, female heterosexual vs. male heterosexual), and baseline FIB-4 index. Our findings indicate that improvement of liver fibrosis could be achieved by early initiation of ART through better CD4 cell recovery. Liver fibrosis and hepatotoxicity associated with ART should be monitored as early as possible and throughout till the end of treatment, with special attention to the elderly and heterosexual men.

KEYWORDS: Antiretroviral therapy, HIV, HBV, liver fibrosis, sexual transmission

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