Prevalence and factors associated with liver test abnormalities among human immunodeficiency virus-infected persons.

Crum-Cianflone N, Collins G, Medina S, Asher D, Campin R, Bavaro M, Hale B, Hames C.

Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Feb;8(2):183-91. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2009.09.025. Epub 2009 Oct 2.

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Liver disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality among human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected persons. We evaluated the prevalence, etiology, and factors associated with liver dysfunction in patients during the highly active antiretroviral therapy era. METHODS: We performed liver tests (baseline and after a 6-month follow-up period) in HIV-infected patients treated at a large clinic. Comprehensive laboratory and ultrasound analyses were performed. Factors associated with liver test abnormalities were assessed using multivariate logistic regression models. RESULTS: Eighty of 299 HIV-positive patients (27%) had abnormal liver test results during the 6-month study period. The majority of abnormalities were grade 1. Of those with liver test abnormalities, the most common diagnosis was nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (30%), followed by excessive alcohol use (13%), chronic hepatitis B (9%), chronic active hepatitis C (5%), and other (hemochromatosis and autoimmune hepatitis, 2%); 8 participants (10%) had more than 1 diagnosis. In total, 39 HIV patients with abnormal liver test results (49%) had a defined underlying liver disease. Despite laboratory tests and ultrasound examination, 41 abnormal liver test results (51%) were unexplained. Multivariate analyses of this group found that increased total cholesterol levels (odds ratio, 1.6 per 40-mg/dL increase; P = .01) were associated with liver abnormalities. CONCLUSIONS: Liver test abnormalities are common among HIV patients during the highly active antiretroviral therapy era. The most common diagnosis was nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. Despite laboratory and radiologic investigations into the cause of liver dysfunction, 51% were unexplained, but might be related to unrecognized fatty liver disease.

PMID: 19800985

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine.