Liver Fibrosis in HIV-Infected Patients With Elevated Liver Enzymes on Antiretroviral Therapy
This study will provide a basis for research on the impact of liver injury caused by antiretroviral therapy in HIV-infected patients. Elevated liver enzymes called AST and ALT are common in HIV-infected patients taking antiretroviral medications and can indicate liver damage. Although there are a number of possible causes for these elevations, such as infections with a hepatitis virus, antiretroviral medications alone can lead to the elevations. The study will focus particularly on evidence of liver fibrosis, which is a sign of progressive liver damage.
HIV-infected patients 18 and older who 1) have been taking combination antiretroviral therapy for at least 12 months and have been on a stable regimen for at least 3 months, and 2) have had elevated AST or ALT levels for at least 6 months may be eligible for this study. Patients who have had liver biopsies performed in the past may be eligible for participation.
Participants undergo the following tests and procedures over a 12-month period:
- Oral glucose tolerance test: The patient drinks a glucose (sugar) drink. Blood samples are then drawn over 2 hours through an intravenous (IV) line in the patient's arm. This test measures how high the patient's blood sugar and insulin levels rise after drinking a standard glucose load.
- Transient elastography: This ultrasound test uses vibration (sound waves) to measure liver stiffness (fibrosis). Vibrations move faster through a fibrotic liver.
- Triple-phase CT scan and single slice CT scan of L4-5: Patients fast for 4 hours before the CT scan. A contrast material is injected through a catheter placed in an arm vein to improve the visibility of the liver in the specialized X-ray images obtained in the CT scanner.
- Liver biopsy: This test removes a small sample of liver tissue for microscopic examination, particularly for evidence of fibrosis. The skin over the biopsy site is numbed and a needle is passed through the skin and rapidly in and out of the liver. Patients may be given a sedative for the procedure.
- Follow-up visits. Patients return for follow-up visits 1 to 4 weeks after the liver biopsy and three more times over the course of the study for a medical history, physical examination and blood tests.
Patients may participate in an additional 4-year follow-up, during which they have visits every 3-12 months and are offered the opportunity to repeat the biopsy no sooner than 1 year after the first biopsy.
|Study Design:||Time Perspective: Prospective|
|Official Title:||A Pilot Study of Hepatic Fibrosis in HIV/AIDS Patients With Chronically Elevated Transaminases on Antiretroviral Therapy|
- Presence of hepatic fibrosis on liver biopsy as measured histologically by stage [ Time Frame: At study entry, potential for repeat liver biopsy staging during longitudinal follow-up ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
- Liver biopsy evidence of hepatic steatosis as measured by degree (0 to 4), character and location [ Time Frame: At study entry, potential for repeat liver biopsy staging during longitudinal follow-up ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
- Liver biopsy evidence of hepatic inflammation by type and severity [ Time Frame: At study entry, potential for repeat liver biopsy staging during longitudinal follow-up ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
- Correlation between histopathologic findings on liver biopsy and clinical, laboratory and radiologic parameters [ Time Frame: At study entry, longitudinally ] [ Designated as safety issue: No ]
|Study Start Date:||May 2006|
At present, there are no clear guidelines as to when antiretroviral therapy for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection should be stopped in the setting of elevated liver enzymes. In large part, this is due to a limited understanding of the natural history of antiretroviral-related hepatotoxicity. Although several antiretrovirals have been reported to cause fatal acute hepatitis, more often they cause an asymptomatic elevation in transaminase levels, the optimal management of which is uncertain. This pilot study seeks to create a foundation for research on the impact of antiretroviral-induced liver injury by providing an estimate of the prevalence of hepatic fibrosis in a cohort of sixty HIV-infected patients who have chronically elevated transaminases while on antiretroviral therapy in the absence of chronic hepatitis B (HBV) or C (HCV) coinfection. Liver biopsy specimens will be evaluated for fibrosis by microscopic examination, the current gold standard for assessing the nature and severity of liver disease. The presence of fibrosis, as well as other histopathology, will be described using a validated scoring system. Primarily, this will be a crosssectional study, but subjects will be offered the opportunity to participate in an extended follow-up period and undergo another liver biopsy. Individuals will not be excluded on the basis of alcohol abuse, insulin resistance, or lipodystrophy, but data will be collected on these potentially confounding variables. Noninvasive measures, such as triple-phase computed tomography and transient elastography (an ultrasonic technique), will be assessed for their ability to predict fibrosis. Correlations will also be sought with laboratory markers of fibrosis. The identification of fibrosis (and its precursors) in association with antiretroviral therapy may be very clinically relevant as it may slowly regress with cessation of the causal agent(s). If the causal agent is continued, however, cirrhosis may develop, the reversal of which is thought to be rare.
Please refer to this study by its ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00326482
|Contact: Mary McLaughlin, R.N.||(301) firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Contact: Caryn G Morse, M.D.||(301) email@example.com|
|United States, Maryland|
|National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, 9000 Rockville Pike||Recruiting|
|Bethesda, Maryland, United States, 20892|
|Contact: For more information at the NIH Clinical Center contact Patient Recruitment and Public Liaison Office (PRPL) 800-411-1222 ext TTY8664111010 firstname.lastname@example.org|
|Principal Investigator:||Caryn G Morse, M.D.||National Institutes of Health Clinical Center (CC)|