Fast fibrosis progression between repeated liver biopsies in patients coinfected with human immunodeficiency virus/hepatitis C virus


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A few studies have assessed the observed fibrosis progression between serial liver biopsies (LB) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) / hepatitis C virus (HCV)-coinfected patients. Approximately half of the patients progressed at least one fibrosis stage over a short period of time. The risk factors for this fast progression need clarification. Because of this, we evaluated the observed fibrosis progression rates of HIV/HCV-coinfected patients and the risk factors for accelerated progression. Overall, 135 HIV-infected patients with positive serum HCV RNA, without other possible causes of liver disease, who underwent two LB, separated at least by 1 year, were included in this retrospective cohort study. The median (Q1-Q3) time between both LBs was 3.3 (2.0-5.2) years. Patients showed the following changes in fibrosis stage: regression ≥1 stage: 23 (17%), no change: 52 (39%), progression 1 stage: 38 (28%), and progression ≥2 stages: 22 (16%). Seventeen (13%) patients had cirrhosis in the second biopsy. Factors independently associated with progression ≥1 stage were undetectable plasma HIV RNA during the follow-up (relative risk [RR] [95% confidence interval, 95% CI] 0.61 [0.39-0.93], P = 0.03), moderate-to-severe lobular necroinflammation (1.77 [1.16-2.7], P = 0.009), time between biopsies (1.11 [1.08-1.2], P = 0.01), and end of treatment response to anti-HCV therapy (0.41 [0.19-0.88], P = 0.02). Conclusion: Fibrosis progresses with high frequency in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients over a period of time of 3 years. Absent-to-mild lobular necroinflammation at baseline, achievement of response with anti-HCV treatment, and effective antiretroviral therapy are associated with slower fibrosis progression. (HEPATOLOGY 2009.)