Hepatic fibrosis and factors associated with liver stiffness in HIV mono-infected individuals


Background Liver disease has become an important cause of morbidity and mortality even in those HIV-infected individuals who are devoid of hepatitis virus co-infection. The aim of this study was to evaluate the degree of hepatic fibrosis and the role of associated factors using liver stiffness measurement in HIV mono-infected patients without significant alcohol intake. Methods We performed a cross-sectional study of 101 HIV mono-infected patients recruited prospectively from March 1, 2014 to October 30, 2014 at the Center for HIV, St István and St László Hospital, Budapest, Hungary. To determine hepatic fibrosis, liver stiffness was measured with transient elastography. Demographic, immunologic and other clinical parameters were collected to establish a multivariate model. Bayesian Model Averaging (BMA) was performed to identify predictors of liver stiffness. Results Liver stiffness ranged from 3.0–34.3 kPa, with a median value of 5.1 kPa (IQR 1.7). BMA provided a very high support for age (Posterior Effect Probability-PEP: 84.5%), moderate for BMI (PEP: 49.3%), CD4/8 ratio (PEP: 44.2%) and lipodystrophy (PEP: 44.0%). For all remaining variables, the model rather provides evidence against their effect. These results overall suggest that age and BMI have a positive association with LS, while CD4/8 ratio and lipodystrophy are negatively associated. Discussion Our findings shed light on the possible importance of ageing, overweight and HIV-induced immune dysregulation in the development of liver fibrosis in the HIV-infected population. Nonetheless, further controlled studies are warranted to clarify causal relations.