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Brazilian Journal of Medical and Biological Research

On-line version ISSN 1414-431X

Abstract

SOUZA, A.R.; TOVO, C.V.; MATTOS, A.A.  and  CHAVES, S.. There is no difference in hepatic fibrosis rates of patients infected with hepatitis C virus and those co-infected with HIV. Braz J Med Biol Res [online]. 2008, vol.41, n.3, pp. 223-228.  Epub Dec 20, 2007. ISSN 1414-431X.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0100-879X2006005000200.

Some studies have suggested that human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection modifies the natural history of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, accelerating the progression of fibrosis and the development of cirrhosis. Our objective was to evaluate the fibrosis progression rate (FPR) in HCV/HIV-co-infected patients, and to identify factors that may influence it. HCV-mono-infected and HCV/HIV-co-infected patients with a known date of HCV infection (transfusion or injection drug use) and a liver biopsy were included. The FPR was defined as the ratio between the fibrosis stage (Metavir score) and the estimated length of infection in years and the result was reported as fibrosis units per year. The factors studied were gender, age at infection, consumption of alcohol, aminotransferase levels, histological activity grade, HCV genotype and viral load, CD4 cell count, HIV viral load, and the use of antiretroviral therapy. Sixty-five HCV-infected (group 1) and 53 HCV/HIV-co-infected (group 2) patients were evaluated over a period of 19 months. The mean FPR of groups 1 and 2 was 0.086 ± 0.074 and 0.109 ± 0.098 fibrosis units per year, respectively (P = 0.276). There was a correlation between length of HCV infection and stage of fibrosis in both groups. The age at infection, the aspartate aminotransferase level (r = 0.36) and the inflammatory activity grade were correlated with the FPR (P < 0.001). No difference in FPR was found between HCV-mono-infected and HCV/HIV-co-infected patients.

Keywords : Hepatitis C; Human immunodeficiency virus; Hepatic fibrosis; Cirrhosis.

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