The nations leading liver researchers to reveal findings in hepatitis C, liver transplantation, toxicity in AIDS patients

ATLANTA, GA--This tip sheet highlights only a few of the hundreds of abstracts being presented by members of the American Association of the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) at Digestive Disease Week (DDW), the largest international meeting of physicians, researchers and academics in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.

Findings will include the following:

Hepatotoxicity in the U.S. adult AIDS Clinical Trials Group
A retrospective study encompassing 21 clinical trials and 9,003 adult AIDS patients has found that 10 percent of patients experienced serious liver toxicity as a side effect of AIDS treatment. The study is the largest of its kind in a representative cohort of American adult AIDS patients.

It is fairly clear that the promise of highly active antiretroviral therapy is not deliverable to all patients with HIV, said Raymond T. Chung, M.D., from Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, and senior author of the study. Liver toxicity is a serious problem irrespective of the class of antiretroviral therapy being given.

Patients were treated with one of several drug regimens including one or more non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors, and protease inhibitors. Of the patients experiencing toxicity, 23 percent had to discontinue anti-HIV therapy. Of all deaths during the study period, 2.5 percent were liver related. The next step, said Chung, is to define the baseline factors that correlate with hepatotoxicity. For example, did people experiencing toxicity also have hepatitis C, hepatitis B, pre-existing chronic liver disease, or metabolic abnormalities that predisposed them to liver injury? This work is now under way.

In November, the Food and Drug Administration issued an alert for the NNRTI nevirapine based on reports of liver toxicity. This study found that 33 percent of patients who experienced toxicity while taking nevirapine ha

Contact: Sam Franklin
K-M Communications

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