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Revista da Sociedade Brasileira de Medicina Tropical

Print version ISSN 0037-8682


PACE, Fábio Heleno de Lima; FERREIRA, Lincoln Eduardo Vieira de Castro; SILVA, Antonio Eduardo Benedito  and  FERRAZ, Maria Lucia Gomes. Liver fibrosis progression in HIV/hepatitis C virus coinfected patients with normal aminotransferases levels. Rev. Soc. Bras. Med. Trop. [online]. 2012, vol.45, n.4, pp.444-447. ISSN 0037-8682.

INTRODUCTION: Approximately 30% of hepatitis C virus (HCV) monoinfected patients present persistently normal alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels. Most of these patients have a slow progression of liver fibrosis. Studies have demonstrated the rate of liver fibrosis progression in hepatitis C virus-human immunodeficiency virus (HCV-HIV) coinfected patients is faster than in patients infected only by HCV. Few studies have evaluated the histological features of chronic hepatitis C in HIV-infected patients with normal ALT levels. METHODS: HCV-HIV coinfected patients (HCV-RNA and anti-HIV positive) with known time of HCV infection (intravenous drugs users) were selected. Patients with hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive or hepatitis C treatment before liver biopsy were excluded. Patients were considered to have a normal ALT levels if they had at least 3 normal determinations in the previous 6 months prior to liver biopsy. All patients were submitted to liver biopsy and METAVIR scale was used. RESULTS: Of 50 studied patients 40 (80%) were males. All patients were treated with antiretroviral therapy. The ALT levels were normal in 13 (26%) patients. HCV-HIV co-infected patients with normal ALT levels had presented means of the liver fibrosis stages (0.77±0.44 versus 1.86±1.38; p<0.001) periportal inflammatory activity (0.62±0.77 versus 2.24±1.35; p<0.001) and liver fibrosis progression rate (0.058±0.043 fibrosis unit/year versus 0.118±0.102 fibrosis unit/year) significantly lower as compared to those with elevated ALT. CONCLUSIONS: HCV-HIV coinfected patients with persistently normal ALTs showed slower progression of liver fibrosis. In these patients the development of liver cirrhosis is improbable.

Keywords : Liver cirrhosis; Hepatitis C; HIV; Aminotransferase.

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