Co-infection with HIV/HCV is associated with more severe liver disease including increased frequency of steatosis and significant fibrosis compared to patients mono-infected with HCV or HIV. We sought to explore the impact of steatosis on cardiovascular disease (CVD), liver-related outcomes, and survival.
An IRB-approved, single-center retrospective cohort study was undertaken to analyze 10-year clinical outcomes in HIV/HCV co-infected patients. Liver biopsy was performed at study entry for the evaluation of HCV disease; a study pathologist graded samples for fibrosis and steatosis. Clinical outcomes including cardiac events, liver function with FIB-4 and APRI, and survival were assessed over 10 years.
At cohort entry N=105, mean age 45 +/- 7 yrs, 70% male, and 56% had steatosis present on biopsy. During the 10-year follow up, no association was found between incident CVD, changes in noninvasive liver fibrosis measures, or survival in the steatosis group compared to non-steatosis group. However nonsignificant trends were noted. Overall mortality for this coinfected population was 25% over 10 years, with liver disease as the most common cause of death.
Given the prevalence of steatosis in approximately half of co-infected patients, larger studies are warranted to determine if steatosis is associated with cardiac disease, diabetes, or liver disease progression in this population. Furthermore, 10 year mortality for this population was very high; underscoring the importance of HCV treatment and need for a better understanding of other variables responsible for decreased survival in this population.