Journal of
AIDS and HIV Research

  • Abbreviation: J. AIDS HIV Res.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 2141-2359
  • DOI: 10.5897/JAHR
  • Start Year: 2009
  • Published Articles: 283

Full Length Research Paper

Correlation between HIV viral load and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) as marker of liver damage in HIV infected naive patients in North-eastern Nigeria

Ballah Akawu Denue
  • Ballah Akawu Denue
  • Department of Medicine,University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Borno state, Nigeria.
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Ibrahim yusuf
  • Ibrahim yusuf
  • Department of Microbiology and Parasitology, University of Maiduguri, Borno state, Nigeria.
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Hauwa Suleiman Bello
  • Hauwa Suleiman Bello
  • Department of Microbiology, University of Maiduguri, Borno state, Nigeria.
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Hyelni Haruna Mshelia
  • Hyelni Haruna Mshelia
  • Department of Community Medicine, University of Maiduguri Teaching Hospital, Borno State Nigeria
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  •  Accepted: 25 April 2013
  •  Published: 31 August 2013

Abstract

Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) is a hepatic enzyme that could be used as markers of hepatocellular injury. Liver enzyme elevations are frequent in human immune deficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients which may be caused by the HIV virus in those without other risk factors for liver damage. This study was designed to evaluate the correlation between HIV viral load and serum levels of ALT, a marker of hepatic damage. This was a cross-sectional analytic study performed among HIV infected naive patients without other risk factor for liver disease. The results of the study shows that of the 166 participants recruited into this study, 104 (62.7%) were females. The participants’ mean CD4 count was 180.04 ± 38.08 (95% confidence interval (CI), 164.11 to 195.96). The mean viral load log10 (copies/ml) was 5.18 ± 4.28, and ALT (UI/L) was 24.80 ± 1.29 (95% CI, 22.26 to 27.35). Sixty (36.2%) of the studied participants had high viral load ≥ 100,000 copies/ml, while 22 (13.3%) had high ALT (≥ 40 IU/L). A positive correlation (Pearson correlation coefficient, r = 0.274, P = 0.000) between HIV viral load and ALT was observed. After adjusting for age, sex and CD4 count in a multivariable linear regression model, the correlation between HIV viral load and ALT remained significant (p = 0.003). The finding of positive correlation between HIV viral load and ALT levels in HIV infected naive patients suggests a linear relation between ALT level and HIV-1 viral load in HIV patients without other risk factor for liver damage. We recommend evaluating patients with high ALT for early anti-retroviral therapy (ART) in those without risk factor for liver damage regardless of the CD4+ cell count, especially where facility for estimating viral load is not available.

 

Key wordsAlanine aminotransferase, human immune deficiency (HIV), viral load, CD4 count