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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2014  |  Volume : 1  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 175-184

Prevalence and risk factors for hepatotoxicity among patients with HIV/AIDS on highly active antiretroviral therapy in North-Western Nigeria


1 Department of Medicine, Bayero University; Department of Medicine, Infectious Diseases Unit, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria
2 Department of Medicine, Bayero University; Department of Medicine, Gastroenterology Unit, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria
3 Department of Medicine, Northwest University Hospital, Diagnostic and Disease Control Center Kwanar-Dawaki, Kano, Nigeria
4 Department of Medicine, Bayero University; Department of Medicine, Pulmonology Unit, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria
5 Department of Medicine, Bayero University; Department of Medicine, Nephrology Unit, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria
6 Department of Medicine, Bayero University; Department of Medicine, Cardiology Unit, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
Muhammad Hamza
Department of Medicine, Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Bayero University, PMB 3452, Kano
Nigeria
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DOI: 10.4103/2384-5147.144727

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Introduction: Highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) has become more accessible to human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)/AIDS patients in resource-poor countries, especially sub-Saharan Africa. However, its use is often complicated by the occurrence of drug-related toxicities and interactions limiting this benefit in a substantial proportion of individuals. Hepatotoxicity being one of the adverse effects of HAART has led to the interruption of therapy from sub-clinical and clinical hepatitis and sometimes led to death. This study, therefore, sets out to determine the prevalence and risk factors for hepatotoxicity among HIV/AIDS patients on HAART in our environment. Materials and Methods: This was a cross-sectional comparative study carried out at Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano, North-Western Nigeria. HIV positive patients aged 18 years and above who consented to take part in the study were recruited. The study subjects were made up of patients on HAART for at least 6 months who were compared with age-and sex-matched HAART naοve subjects. Data were collected using a pretested interviewer administered questionnaire. Sociodemographic information, clinical characteristics, possible risk factors, CD4 cell count, HAART regimen, etc., were extracted from the case notes of the subjects. Venous blood samples were collected for necessary investigations and analyzed at the hospital central laboratory. Results: Four hundred and forty subjects consisting of 220 HAART-experienced (group 1) as cases; while the other 220 (group 2) HAART-naοve served as controls. The prevalence of hepatotoxicity for the HAART-experienced group was 36.4%, with severe hepatotoxicity occurring in 3.2%. There was no statistically significant difference in the prevalence of hepatotoxicity between in the two groups (P = 0.738). Over 90% of liver enzyme elevations were asymptomatic. Independent risk factors for hepatotoxicity were concurrent use of antituberculosis drugs and HAART and low CD4 count. Conclusion: There is a need for pre-emptive regular monitoring of liver function tests in patients on HAART since cases of hepatotoxicity found in this study were predominantly asymptomatic. Careful selection of less hepatotoxic HAART regimens in patients with identifiable risk factors is an important strategy in preventing the hepatotoxicity.


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