Spotlight Series on Hepatitis C

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Hepatitis Worse During Immunocompetence With HIV/Hepatitis C Coinfection

October 9, 2002

This article is part of The Body PRO's archive. Because it contains information that may no longer be accurate, this article should only be considered a historical document.

Liver disease may worsen when there is immunocompetence in hemophiliacs coinfected with HIV and hepatitis C (HCV), investigators have found. Researchers in Athens, Greece, drew this conclusion after studying several factors associated with liver histology in 21 hemophilia patients with HIV and HCV coinfections.

The evaluated patients, whose average age was 35.7 +/- 8.7 years, were in various stages of liver disease, HCV, and HIV. Upon histological evaluation a majority of them demonstrated moderate hepatitis. However, those with higher immune competence showed more severe hepatitis. "Statistical analysis showed a significant association of CD4 count <50 with minimal hepatitis and of CD>200 with mild and moderate hepatitis (p=0.33)," reported J. Delladetsima of the University of Athens Medical School in Greece.

Stage C is a classification for greater symptomatology in HIV infection. Most of the patients with this stage of disease demonstrated only minimal hepatitis, whereas those at stage A, a classification for lesser HIV symptomatology, had mild-to-moderate hepatitis, according to researchers. The full report, "Significance of Immune Status, Genotype and Viral Load in the Severity of Chronic Hepatitis C in HIV Infected Haemophilia Patients," was published in Haemophilia (September 2002;8(5):668-673).

"No relationship was found between hepatitis severity, HIV or HCV RNA levels, patient's age and duration of HIV or HCV infection," researchers noted. Immunocompetence, rather than immunodeficiency, may be a hallmark for more aggressive hepatitis in hemophilia patients coinfected with HIV and HCV, Delladetsima and colleagues suggested.

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Adapted from:
Hepatitis Weekly
09.16.02; Sonia Nichols

This article was provided by CDC National Prevention Information Network. It is a part of the publication CDC HIV/Hepatitis/STD/TB Prevention News Update.


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