Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and HIV infection
As persons with HIV live longer, chronic liver disease is increasingly important. Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is characterized by excess fat in hepatocytes in patients without significant alcohol use. It can progress from steatosis to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) to cirrhosis. Visceral obesity and insulin resistance are integral to the pathogenesis of NAFLD. Patients with HIV are at greater risk of NAFLD due to antiretroviral therapy and viral hepatitis coinfection. Antiretroviral therapy can lead to patterns of injury that include steatosis and NASH. Coinfection with hepatitis C virus increases the risk of insulin resistance and hepatic steatosis, and co-existent features of NASH have also been reported. Histological-based, longitudinal studies are needed that address the interactions of NAFLD and HIV infection, the effects of antiretroviral therapy and hepatotropic virus coinfection, and inform better management strategies.
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