Liver stiffness is not associated with short- and long-term plasma HIV RNA replication in immunocompetent patients with HIV infection and with HIV/HCV coinfection

Authors Saverio Giuseppe Parisi, Monica Basso, Carlo Mengoli, Renzo Scaggiante, Samantha Andreis, Marzia Maria Franzetti, Anna Maria Cattelan, Daniela Zago, Mario Cruciani, Massimo Andreoni, Sara Piovesan, Giorgio Palù, Alfredo Alberti.


Background Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) may be directly responsible for liver damage but there are contrasting data regarding the influence of detectable plasma viremia. We analyzed the influence of plasma HIV RNA (pHIV) detectability and of other clinical and viro-immunological variables on liver stiffness (LS) measurement in adult immunocompetent HIV-monoinfected patients and in patients coinfected with hepatitis C virus (HCV).

Methods Logistic regression analysis was performed using the value of LS>7.1 kPa as the dependent variable. A linear regression model was applied using LS measurement after log10 transformation (lkpa) as the dependent variable and we analyzed the predicted values versus the observed lkpa values; pHIV was classified as detectable or undetectable in the 12- and 36-month study periods before LS measurement.

Results We studied 251 patients (178 with HIV monoinfection), most of whom were on antiviral treatment; 36-month study time was available for 154 subjects. The mean CD4+ cell count was 634 cells/mm3 in HIV-monoinfected patients and 606 cells/mm3 in coinfected patients. No difference in LS was found between patients with detectable or undetectable pHIV in either the 12- or the 36-month study period before transient elastography. The mean LS was higher in HIV/HCV coinfected patients (P<0.0001) than in the HIV-monoinfected subjects; lkpa was positively correlated with HCV coinfection (P<0.0001) and aspartate aminotransferase levels (P<0.0001). Detectable pHIV failed to reach significance. Eight HIV-monoinfected patients had a predicted LS measurement lower than the observed one, while eight patients had the opposite result.

Conclusion LS was not correlated with ongoing HIV replication during the 12- and 36-month study periods in immunocompetent HIV-monoinfected and HIV/HCV-coinfected patients.

Keywords Liver stiffness, HIV RNA, immunocompetent

Ann Gastroenterol 2017; 30 (5): 534-541

Original Articles