Authors: Thorne C, Turkova A, Indolfi G, Venturini E, Giaquinto C
Published in: AIDS. 2017;31(1):127-135.
Objective To characterize children, adolescents and young adults infected with HIV/hepatitis C virus (HCV) vertically or before age of 18 years and living in Europe regarding mode of acquisition, HCV genotype, clinical status and treatment.
Design Retrospective, cross-sectional study using pooled data from 11 European paediatric HIV cohorts.
Methods Patients aged more than 18 months and less than 25 years, with HIV/HCV acquired vertically or in childhood, were included. Anonymized individual patient data were collected using a standard protocol and modified HIV Cohorts Data Exchange Protocol.
Results Of 229 patients included, 142 (62%) had vertically acquired infection. Median age at last follow-up was 16.2 years. Most children had HCV genotype 1 (101/184, 55%) or 3 (57/184, 31%). One-fifth (46/214) had a previous AIDS diagnosis (data missing on prior AIDS diagnoses for 15). At their last clinic visit, 70% (145/208) had no/mild immunosuppression (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention stage 1), and 131 of 179 on antiretroviral therapy had undetectable HIV RNA (assay thresholds varied from <20 to <150 copies/ml). Overall, 42% (86/204) had hepatomegaly in the previous year, and 55% (116/213) had alanine aminotransferase more than 40 IU/l at their last test. Of 97 patients with transient elastography, 12 had results more than 9 kPa; this was associated with duration of HCV infection (P = 0.033), but not with CD4 cell count, antiretroviral therapy use or sex in univariable analysis. Of 17 patients with liver biopsies, six had bridging fibrosis and one had cirrhosis. Twenty-five (11%) had been treated successfully for HCV.
Conclusion The high proportion of patients with progressive liver disease underscores the need for close monitoring and earlier and more effective HCV treatment.