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!
A first look at interstitial fluid flow in the brain
05.07.2018 | American Institute of Physics
A sentinel to watch over ocular pressure
04.07.2018 | Fraunhofer Institute for Microelectronic Circuits and Systems
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
16.07.2018 | Physics and Astronomy
16.07.2018 | Life Sciences
16.07.2018 | Earth Sciences