Atherosclerosis is associated with a higher risk of hepatic steatosis in HIV-infected patients


hepatic steatosis
cardiovascular diseases
Intima Media Thickness


Introduction. Cardiovascular Diseases (CD) have emerged as a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in HIV population. Some studies have reported higher carotid Intima Media Thickness (c-IMT), a measure of subclinical atherosclerosis (AT), in this cohort of patients.

Methods. Here, we evaluate the role of Hepatic Steatosis (HS) as likely marker for AT in 128 HIV-infected patients without  hepatitis C infection. c-IMT has been detected non-invasively by carotid ultrasonography to assess the progression of AT. HS has been evaluated using a process based on vibration-controlled transient elastography (Fibroscan) by a novel ultrasonic controlled attenuation parameter (CAP). The cut-off value for defining the presence of significant HS was CAP > 259 dBm-1.

Results. AT has been detected in 26 patients (20.3%), whereas steatosis of grade 2 (S2) in 31 (24.2%). The variables statistically related to AT were age, obesity, diabetes, hypertension and S2. In the multivariate analysis, AT was only associated (p < 0.001) with age and S2. The optimal cut-off value indicated by ROC curve for predicting AT was CAP > 250 dB/m-1.

Discussion. Our results highlight the presence of AT in HIV-infected persons and its association with fatty liver disease; therefore, HS assessment in HIV population results crucial to predict AT and CD.