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Factors Associated with Liver Enzyme Abnormalities in HIV–HBV and/or HCV Co-infected Patients in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo: Multicenter Cross-sectional Study

Jean-Paul Mayimona Kimpiatu, Charles N’lombi Mbendi, Antoine Wola Yaba Tshimpi, Aliocha Natuhoyila Nkodila, François Bompeka Lepira, Sebastien Nsukini Mbendi, Fiston Mbutiwi, Jean-Robert Rissassy Makulo, Hippolyte Nani-Tuma Situakibanza, and Benjamin Longo-Mbenza


Background and Objective: Liver enzyme abnormalities (LEA) are extremely common and sometimes severe in individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), but data for this disorder are lacking in the developing countries. The objective of this study was to identify factors associated with LEA in HIV–hepatitis B virus (HBV)/hepatitis C virus (HCV) co-infected patients in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo.

Methods: This cross-sectional analytical study included 180 people living with HIV (PLWHIV) mono-infected or co-infected with HBV/HCV between November 10, 2013 and January 10, 2014 in Kinshasa. Sociodemographic, clinical, biological, serological, and immunological data were analyzed. Levels of serum glutamate oxaloacetate transferase (SGOT) and serum glutamate pyruvate transaminase (SGPT) were determined. Antibody levels were determined using enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).

Results: The mean age of patients was 44.2±11.0 years; female sex was predominant (76.7%). Co-infection, mainly with HBV, but also HCV, was found in 43 (23.9%) patients. Elevated liver enzymes were found in 77 (42.8%) of the patients. No difference was found in the rate of liver enzyme abnormalities between patients with HIV mono-infection or HIV co-infection (46.7% versus 30.2%, respectively; P=0.08). Factors associated with LEA were age ≥50 years (adjusted odds ratio [OR] 2.7; 95% CI 1.4–5.5), duration of HIV infection >3 years (adjusted OR 2.7; 95% CI 1.4–5.5), and CD4 count ≤303 cells/mm³ (adjusted OR 2.2; 95% CI 1.1–4.5).

Conclusions: Liver enzyme abnormalities are frequent in patients co-infected with HIV–HBV/HCV as well as in HIV patients without co-infection. Diagnosis is determined based on age, immunodeficiency, and length of illness.