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Predictors of liver disease progression in people living with HIV-HBV co-infection on antiretroviral therapy


  • Singh, Kasha P.
  • Avihingsanon, Anchalee
  • Zerbato, Jennifer M.
  • Zhao, Wei
  • Braat, Sabine
  • Tennakoon, Surekha
  • Rhodes, Ajantha
  • Matthews, Gail V.
  • Fairley, Christopher K.
  • Sasadeusz, Joe
  • Crane, Megan
  • Audsley, Jennifer
  • Lewin, Sharon R.


eBioMedicine, Volume 102, 2024-04-30

Article Link: Click here

Background In people living with HIV-HBV, liver fibrosis progression can occur even with suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART). We investigated the relationship between liver fibrosis and biomarkers of inflammation, apoptosis, and microbial translocation. Methods In this observational cohort study adults living with HIV-HBV already on effective ART were recruited in Australia and Thailand and followed for 3 years including 6 monthly clinical review and blood tests and annual transient elastography. Differences in clinical and laboratory predictors of liver fibrosis progression were tested followed by regression analysis adjusted for CD4+ T-cells at study entry. A linear mixed model was fitted to longitudinal data to explore changes over time. Findings 67 participants (85% male, median age 49 y) were followed for 175 person-years. Median duration of ART was 10 years (interquartile range (IQR) 8–16 years). We found 11/59 (19%) participants during 3-years follow-up (6/100 person-years) met the primary endpoint of liver disease progression, defined as increased Metavir stage from baseline to final scan. In regression analysis, progressors compared to non-progressors had higher levels of high mobility group box 1 protein (HGMB1), (median (IQR) 3.7 (2.6–5.0) and 2.4 ng/mL (1.5–3.4) respectively, adjusted relative risk 1.47, 95% CI [1.00, 2.17]) and lower nadir CD4+ T-cell percentage (median 4% (IQR 2–8) and 11% (4–15) respectively (relative risk 0.93, 95% CI [0.88, 0.98]). Interpretation Progression in liver fibrosis occurs in people with HIV-HBV on suppressive ART. Fibrosis progression was associated with higher HMGB1 and lower percentage nadir CD4+ T-cell count, highlighting the importance of early initiation of HBV-active ART. Funding This work was supported by NHMRC project grant 1101836; NHMRC practitioner fellowship 1138581 and NHMRC program grant 1149990. The funder had no role in study design, data collection, data analysis, interpretation, writing of this manuscript or decision to submit for publication.