Background: Little is known about the importance of liver fibrosis and fatty liver in HIV-monoinfected individuals without hepatitis virus co-infection, particularly among the Asian population.
Aim: To evaluate prevalence and risk factors for liver fibrosis and fatty liver in Asian HIV-monoinfected individuals.
Methods: Eighty asymptomatic HIV-monoinfected individuals (tested negative for HBV/HCV) were compared with 160 matched HIV-uninfected healthy controls. Transient elastography and proton-magnetic resonance spectroscopy ((1) H-MRS) were performed to measure liver stiffness and hepatic steatosis respectively. Blood samples were analysed for metabolic profiles and markers of steatohepatitis (e.g. cytokeratin-18).
Results: All HIV-infected individuals (mean ± s.d. age 54 ± 11 years, male 93%, Chinese 94%; diagnosis median duration 8 (IQR 4-13 years) were stable on anti-retrovirals (PI-based 58.7%, NNRTI-based 25.0% integrase-inhibitors 16.3%); diabetes, dyslipidaemia, and metabolic syndrome were common. Fatty liver disease was detected in 28.7%. There was significantly higher degree of liver stiffness [4.9 (IQR 4.1-6.2) kPa vs. 4.2 (IQR 3.6-5.0) kPa, P < 0.001], and greater proportions developed significant fibrosis (7.0 kPa, 14.3% vs. 3.1%, P = 0.001) and cirrhosis (10.3 kPa, 5.2% vs. 0.6%, P = 0.040) compared with controls. HIV infection was an independent risk factor for significant fibrosis (adjusted OR 4.00, 95% CI 1.29-12.41, P = 0.016). HIV-infected individuals with fatty liver had excessive liver stiffness and fibrosis. Two cases of asymptomatic hepatocellular carcinoma were detected.
Conclusions: HIV-monoinfected patients are at risk for liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. HIV-related mechanisms and fatty liver disease may play important roles. Screening and intervention to prevent severe outcomes should be considered.
© 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.