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, firstname.lastname@example.org, (336) 716-3487; Bonnie Davis, email@example.com, (336) 716-4977; or Shannon Koontz, firstname.lastname@example.org, (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!
Gentle sensors for diagnosing brain disorders
29.09.2016 | King Abdullah University of Science and Technology
New imaging technique in Alzheimer’s disease - opens up possibilities for new drug development
28.09.2016 | Lund University
Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.
"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...
In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.
A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...
By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.
"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...
COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.
In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...
'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.
Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...
14.10.2016 | Event News
14.10.2016 | Event News
12.10.2016 | Event News
21.10.2016 | Health and Medicine
21.10.2016 | Information Technology
21.10.2016 | Materials Sciences