Background: As morbidity due to viral coinfections declines among HIV-infected persons, changes in liver-related morbidity are anticipated. We examined data from the US Military HIV Natural History Study (NHS), a cohort of military beneficiaries, to evaluate incidence and risk factors associated with chronic liver enzyme elevation (cLEE) in HIV-monoinfected patients in the combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) era. Methods: Participants who were hepatitis B virus and hepatitis C virus seronegative with follow-up after 1996 were included. We defined chronic liver enzyme elevation (cLEE) as alanine aminotransferase elevations ≥1.25 times the upper limit of normal on at least 2 visits, for a duration of ≥6 months within 2 years. We used multivariate Cox proportional hazards models to examine risk factors for cLEE. Results: Of 2779 participants, 309 (11%) met criteria for cLEE for an incidence of 1.28/100 PYFU (1.28-1.29/100 PYFU). In an adjusted model, cLEE was associated with Hispanic/other ethnicity (reference Caucasian: hazard ratio [HR], 1.744; 95% CI, 1.270-2.395), non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor-based cART (reference boosted protease inhibitors: HR, 2.232; 95% CI, 1.378-3.616), being cART naïve (HR, 6.046; 95% CI, 3.686-9.915), or having cART interruptions (HR, 8.671; 95% CI, 4.651-16.164). African American race (HR, 0.669; 95% CI, 0.510-0.877) and integrase strand transfer inhibitor (INSTI)-based cART (HR, 0.222; 95% CI, 0.104-0.474) were protective. Conclusions: Our findings demonstrate that initiation and continued use of cART are protective against cLEE and support the hypothesis that HIV infection directly impacts the liver. INSTI-based regimens were protective and could be considered in persons with cLEE.
- chronic liver enzyme elevation