[Management of cirrhosis complications in HIV patients coinfected with hepatitis B or C virus]

2005 La Presse Médicale 34, 20 Pt 2 (1579-1583)

Cirrhosis is a serious complication of viral hepatitis, and its incidence is increasing in HIV patients coinfected with HCV or HBV as they live longer, thanks to effective antiretroviral treatment (Haart). HIV coinfection accelerates the progression of fibrosis in hepatitis. To implement preventive measures, prompt diagnosis of cirrhosis is important, either by liver biopsy or the noninvasive tests for fibrosis now under wide study (FibroTest, FibroScan, etc.). Afterwards, assessment of the severity of cirrhosis and screening for complications are both necessary: testing for liver failure (Child-Pugh and MELD scores), portal hypertension (upper gastrointestinal endoscopy), and hepatocellular carcinoma (ultrasound and alpha fetoprotein assay). Careful consideration of drug prescriptions and possible interactions is essential. Specific treatment for hepatitis B or C virus is possible at this stage of cirrhosis, although more difficult, especially for HCV (results influenced by genotype, additional risk of complications by lactic acidosis or hepatic decompensation). Management of the complications of portal hypertension must be planned, as for those without HIV infection. Treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma is still disappointing, and liver transplantation, although possible in these patients, must be evaluated.

Pubmed : 16314817