Chronic Delta Hepatitis: Is the Prognosis Worse When Associated With Hepatitis C Virus and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infections

Chronic Delta Hepatitis: Is the Prognosis Worse When Associated With Hepatitis C Virus and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infections

Chronic Delta Hepatitis: Is the Prognosis Worse When Associated With Hepatitis C Virus and Human Immunodeficiency Virus Infections

Abstract

Eighty-six patients were followed for 6.5 years to study the epidemiological, virological, and histological course of chronic delta hepatitis and the relationship of this disease with HIV and HCV infection. Patients were classified into four groups according to simultaneous HCV and/or HIV infection: group 1, HDV infection (20 cases); group 2, HDV and HCV infection (11 cases); group 3, HDV and HIV infection (12 cases), and group 4, HDV, HCV, and HIV infection (43 cases). All but 14 patients were asymptomatic at presentation. Liver histology showed chronic active hepatitis in 53 cases and cirrhosis in 19 cases. During followup, 52 patients remained asymptomatic, 34 developed hepatic dysfunction, 28 died, and 1 received a liver transplant. Among the 28 patients who died, 4 had HDV infection; 3 HDV and HCV infection; 3 HDV and HIV infection; and 18 HDV, HCV, and HIV infection. Death was due to liver failure in 16 (57%), AIDS in 10 (36%), and was unrelated to liver disease in 2 (8%) cases. There results demonstrate that chronic delta hepatitis is a severe disease, especially among drug users with HIV and HCV infection. The high morbidity and mortality of chronicdelta hepatitis justifies the use of antiviral therapy to modify the natural course of the disease.

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