Publication Abstract Display
Type: Published Manuscript
Title: Neurocognitive impairment is worse in HIV/HCV-coinfected individuals with liver dysfunction.
Authors: Barokar J, McCutchan A, Deutsch R, Tang B, Cherner M, Bharti AR
Year: 2019
Publication: Journal of Neurovirology
Volume: 25 Issue: 6 Pages: 792-799
Abstract:Infections with HIV and hepatitis C virus (HCV) can individually and jointly contribute to neurocognitive impairment (NCI). Rates of NCI in HIV/HCV-coinfected persons range from 40 to 63% but its correlates have not been described. In this study, we examined HIV/HCV-coinfected adults on antiretroviral therapy (ART) with undetectable HIV RNA in blood (n = 412) who were assessed using a comprehensive neuropsychological test battery. Demographics, host and viral biomarkers, and markers of liver dysfunction were compared between impaired (n = 198) and unimpaired (n = 214) participants using logistic regression. The cohort was predominantly middle-aged men, half of whom (48%) had NCI. The odds of NCI increased by almost two-fold when serum albumin was < 4 g/dL, 1.7-fold when alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels were > 50 IU/L, and 2.2-fold with every unit increase in log10 AST to Platelet Ratio Index (APRI). These readily available clinical biomarkers of NCI measure hepatic injury and/or dysfunction, suggesting a mechanism for the effects of HCV infection on NCI. They may identify patients at increased risk of NCI who could be prioritized for early initiation of HCV treatment to protect or improve cognition.

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