Conference Coverage

HCV/HIV-coinfected teens rapidly progress to advanced liver disease


Key clinical point: Children with vertically acquired HCV/HIV coinfection experience accelerated progression to advanced hepatic fibrosis.

Major finding: By age 20 years, 24% of a group of patients with vertically transmitted HCV/HIV coinfection had progressed to advanced hepatic fibrosis, compared with 6% of patients with vertically transmitted HCV monoinfection.

Data source: This retrospective, multicenter, observational Spanish study included 71 children with vertically transmitted HCV/HIV coinfection and 71 with vertically transmitted HCV monoinfection.

Disclosures: Dr. McPhee reported having no relevant financial disclosures.



– Roughly one in four children with vertically transmitted hepatitis C virus (HCV)/HIV coinfection will progress to advanced hepatic fibrosis by age 20 years despite treatment with pegylated interferon plus ribavirin, Carolina Fernández McPhee, MD, reported at the annual meeting of the European Society for Paediatric Infectious Diseases.

This rate was nearly five times higher than in matched children with vertically acquired HCV monoinfection in a multicenter retrospective study, according to Dr. McPhee of Hospital General Universitario Gregorio Marañón in Madrid.

Dr. Fernandez McPhee of Gregorio Maranon University Hospital in Madrid

Dr. Carolina Fernandez McPhee

This high rate of advanced liver disease by age 20 years in HCV/HIV-coinfected youth makes a solid case for consideration of off-label use of the new direct-acting antiviral agents in the pediatric setting to arrest coinfected patients’ liver destruction before it reaches an advanced state, she said. She noted that the new antivirals have proven to be truly revolutionary in the treatment of adults with HCV because of their unprecedented cure rates, excellent safety, and ease of use.

She presented a multicenter retrospective study of liver disease progression in 71 HCV/HIV coinfected children and 71 age- and sex-matched HCV-monoinfected children. The coinfected children are being followed in CORISPES (the Spanish Cohort of HIV-infected Children), where they receive state-of-the-art care.

All was quiet through age 9 years, with no progression to liver fibrosis in either patient group. Among patients followed to age 20 years, however, 9 (24%) of 38 HCV/HIV-coinfected patients showed progression to advanced fibrosis, compared with just 3 (6%) of 54 patients with HCV only.

Of HCV/HIV coinfected patients, 73% were infected with the hard to treat viral genotypes 1 or 4, compared with 93% of patients with HCV-only.

In the study group, 22 patients with HCV/HIV and 52 patients with HCV-only underwent treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin. At the time of treatment, three coinfected patients already had cirrhosis, another eight had moderate to advanced fibrosis, and half had no or mild fibrosis. In contrast, only one patient with HCV monoinfection had cirrhosis, four had moderate to advanced fibrosis, and the rest – nearly 90% of the total group – had no or mild fibrosis.

At treatment initiation, 96% of the HCV/HIV group were on antiretroviral therapy, 86% showed suppression of HIV RNA, 44% had AIDS, and 32% had a CD4 count below 500 cells/mm3.

The sustained viral response rate was similar in the two groups of patients – 41% in the HCV/HIV group and 42% in HCV-only patients – despite the fact that the HCV monoinfected patients had a higher prevalence of the tough to treat genotypes.

Roughly 12 million people worldwide are coinfected with HCV and HIV.

Dr. McPhee reported having no relevant financial disclosures.

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