Immunopathogenesis of hepatic flare in HIV/hepatitis b virus (Hbv)-coinfected individuals after the initiation of Hbv-active antiretroviral therapy
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Background. The pathogenesis of and risk factors for hepatic flare (HF) after the initiation of hepatitis B virus (HBV)-active antiretroviral therapy (ART) in HIV/HBV-coinfected individuals is not well understood. Methods. We studied HF in ART-naive HIV/HBV-coinfected individuals in Thailand (n= 36) who were beginning HBV-active ART as part of a prospective clinical trial. HF was defined as an alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level-5 times the upper limit of normal or-200 IU/L higher than that at baseline. Immune mediators (interleukin [IL]-18, IL-2, IL-6, IL-8, IL-10, soluble CD26 [sCD26], sCD30, sCD8, CXCL-10, CCL-2, tumor necrosis factor-a, interferon [IFN]-?, and IFN-a) and activated NK cells were quantified. Results. HBV DNA and ALT levels at baseline were higher in patients with HF (n-8) than in patients without HF (n = 28) (P < .01). After the initiation of ART, CXCL-10 levels remained elevated in patients with HF but decreased in patients without HF (P = .01). sCD30 levels increased and were significantly higher at week 8 in patients with HF (P < .05). There was a positive correlation between levels of ALT and levels of CXCL-10, sCD30, CCL-2, and IL-18 at week 8 (the time of peak ALT level) but not at other time points. Conclusion. Elevated HBV DNA and ALT levels before the initiation of HBV-active ART are risk factors for HF. The pathogenesis of HF after the initiation of HBV-active ART is probably consistent with immune restoration disease. © 2009 by the Infectious Diseases Society of America.
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