Researchers also found that patients who had higher levels of a common liver enzyme upon beginning treatment for HIV-HBV co-infection were at an increased risk of being diagnosed with cirrhosis within the first few years of follow-up. Cirrhosis is a disease that scars the liver, progressively shutting it down. The enzyme is one released into the bloodstream after liver damage.
"One of the most interesting findings was the confirmation that a simple marker, such as transaminase levels before treatment, is useful in identifying patients at higher risk of developing HBV-related complications in a few years," said lead researcher Marina Núñez, M.D., Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Section on Infectious Diseases, in the Department of Internal Medicine at the School of Medicine.
The study is appears in the May/June issue of HIV Clinical Trials, published today.
HBV is a contagious liver disease, contracted in the same way as HIV – through intravenous drug use, sexual contact or mother-to-newborn transmission. Left untreated, it can lead to fatal liver disease or liver cancer.
HIV increases the activity of HBV, speeds the progression of related liver disease and might decrease the effectiveness of treatments for HBV.
But Núñez and Tsan Lee, a medical student at the School of Medicine, found that prolonged use of highly active antiretroviral therapy, including one or more drugs active against HBV, can lead to clearance of the HBV infection in co-infected patients. HAART is the treatment for HIV infection, consisting of a combination of drugs commonly known as the "cocktail."
For the study, researchers reviewed medical records of patients seen in an adult HIV clinic between 1990 and 2008. They included in the study all patients with positive HIV antibody, hepatitis B and at least three months of follow-up care on record.
Of the 72 patient charts reviewed – primarily black males with a median age of 39 and advanced HIV disease at the time of diagnosis – 64 of the patients received HAART that included drugs effective in treating HBV, for a median duration of one year. The researchers were looking for whether the patients were diagnosed with liver complications such as cirrhosis and liver cancer over the course of treatment, and whether the chronic HBV infection improved.
Analysis showed that receiving HAART combined with HBV treatment for a longer period of time was significantly associated with reduced and, in some cases cleared, chronic HBV infection.
Núñez said these findings "stress the importance of good control of the HIV and HBV infections through maintained compliance with HAART including drugs to treat HBV.
"In HBV-HIV patients with the elevated enzyme levels that signal liver damage, it is even more important to control the HBV infection in an attempt to decrease the risks of complications. Those patients should also be more closely screened for liver complications."
Media Relations Contacts: Jessica Guenzel, email@example.com, (336) 716-3487; Bonnie Davis, firstname.lastname@example.org, (336) 716-4977; or Shannon Koontz, email@example.com, (336) 716-4587.
Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (www.wfubmc.edu) is an academic health system comprised of North Carolina Baptist Hospital, Brenner Children's Hospital, Wake Forest University Physicians, and Wake Forest University Health Sciences, which operates the university's School of Medicine and Piedmont Triad Research Park. The system comprises 1,056 acute care, rehabilitation and long-term care beds and has been ranked as one of "America's Best Hospitals" by U.S. News & World Report since 1993. Wake Forest Baptist is ranked 32nd in the nation by America's Top Doctors for the number of its doctors considered best by their peers. The institution ranks in the top third in funding by the National Institutes of Health and fourth in the Southeast in revenues from its licensed intellectual property.
Jessica Guenzel | EurekAlert!
New technique makes brain scans better
22.06.2017 | Massachusetts Institute of Technology
New technology enables effective simultaneous testing for multiple blood-borne pathogens
13.06.2017 | Elsevier
An international team of scientists has proposed a new multi-disciplinary approach in which an array of new technologies will allow us to map biodiversity and the risks that wildlife is facing at the scale of whole landscapes. The findings are published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. This international research is led by the Kunming Institute of Zoology from China, University of East Anglia, University of Leicester and the Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research.
Using a combination of satellite and ground data, the team proposes that it is now possible to map biodiversity with an accuracy that has not been previously...
Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.
Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...
Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.
As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...
Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.
With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...
Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine
Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...
19.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
13.06.2017 | Event News
26.06.2017 | Life Sciences
26.06.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
26.06.2017 | Information Technology