Hepatitis B and C virus infection and liver function in aids patients: research

  • H Lodenyo
  • B Schoub
  • R Ally
  • S Kairu
  • L Segal


Backround: Impaired liver function tests and co-infection with hepatitis viruses in AIDS patients are common in western countries.

Objective: To asses liver function and prevalence of co-infection with hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses in AIDS patients at Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

Design: A prospective study.

Setting: Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Johannesburg, South Africa.

Patients: One hundred consecutive patients with AIDS admitted to Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital.

Results: There were 52 males and 48 females aged 16 to 54 years (mean + SD: 34.6 + 7.5 years). The results of laboratory test were as follows: LFTs: bilirubin 11.8 (+15.6)mmol/L; AST: 79.6 (+116.6) im/L; alkaline phosphatase: 204.3 (+237.4) Im/L; albumin: 23.9 (+6.2) g/Ll; CD4+ lymphocytes: 141.6 (+168.6) mL; CD8+: 666.9 (+618.3) mL; HBV - HbsAg: 6 (6%); HbsAg + eAg: 3 (3%); previous disease (AntiHBs and/or anti HBc): 35%. HCV: 1 (1%).

Conclusion: Liver function tests were impaired in the majority of patients with AIDS (93%) in our setting. Evidence of previous and present HBV infection was present in 41%. This is different from what is observed in western countries (90-95%). The results also suggest that patients here acquired HBV infection while still immuno competent. HCV infection was rare.

SA Gastroenterology Rev. Vol.1(2) 2003: 12-15

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eISSN: 1812-1659