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Selected biochemical and hematological abnormalities in Nigerians with human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis C virus coinfection

Authors OBIENU O, Nwokediuko S

Published 30 June 2011 Volume 2011:3 Pages 63—68


Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Olive Obienu, Sylvester Nwokediuko
Gastroenterology Unit, Department of Medicine, University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Ituku/Ozalla, Enugu, Nigeria

Background: Liver disease has emerged as a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) coinfection, now that antiretroviral therapy has become more effective and has prolonged life expectancy in HIV-infected patients. The main objectives of this study were to determine the prevalence of HIV/HCV coinfection and the pattern of hematological and biochemical abnormalities associated with such dual infection.
Methods: In this study, patients with HIV infection (cases) were tested for anti-HCV antibodies. There was a control group made up of apparently healthy individuals who came to hospital for medical examination for various reasons. They also had an anti-HCV antibody test. Those who tested positive for anti-HCV antibodies among the cases and control subjects were further evaluated for hemoglobin concentration, total white cell count, platelet count, and liver function.
Results: One hundred and eighty HIV-infected patients and 180 control subjects participated in the study. The seroprevalence of anti-HCV antibodies in the HIV-infected patients and control subjects were 6.7% and 4.4%, respectively (P = 0.57). Serum total bilirubin, conjugated bilirubin, and alkaline phosphatase were significantly higher in the HIV/HCV coinfected patients compared with their HCV monoinfected counterparts (P = 0.0396, 0.0001, and 0.0016, respectively). The mean hemoglobin, white cell count, platelet count, and CD4+ T lymphocyte count were significantly lower in the HIV/HCV coinfected patients than the HCV monoinfected control group (P = 0.0082, 0.0133, 0.0031, and 0.0001, respectively).
Conclusion: The seroprevalence of anti-HCV antibodies in HIV-infected Nigerian patients is 6.7%. Patients with HIV/HCV coinfection have lower blood counts, higher serum bilirubin, and higher serum alkaline phosphatase compared with patients having HCV monoinfection.

Keywords: human immunodeficiency virus, hepatitis C virus, coinfection, biochemical, hematological abnormalities

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