Immunologic Predictors of Liver Transplantation Outcomes in HIV-HCV Co-Infected Persons
Liver disease is a leading cause of mortality among HIV-infected persons in the highly active anti-retroviral therapy (HAART) era. Hepatitis C Virus (HCV) co-infection is prevalent in, and worsened by HIV; consequently many co-infected persons require liver transplantation (LT). Despite the need, post-LT outcomes are poor in co-infection. We examined predictors of outcomes post-LT. Immunologic biomarkers of immune activation, microbial translocation, and Th1/Th2 skewing were measured pre-LT in participants enrolled in a cohort of HIV infected persons requiring solid organ transplant (HIVTR). Predictive biomarkers were analyzed in Cox-proportional hazards models; multivariate models included known predictors of outcome and biomarkers from univariate analyses. Sixty-nine HIV-HCV co-infected persons with available pre-LT samples were tested: median (IQR) CD4+ T-cell count was 286 (210-429) cells mm-3; 6 (9%) had detectable HIV RNA. Median (IQR) follow-up was 2.1 (0.7-4.0) years, 29 (42%) people died, 35 (51%) had graft loss, 22 (32%) were treated for acute rejection, and 14 (20%) had severe recurrent HCV. In multivariate models, sCD14 levels were significantly lower in persons with graft loss post-LT (HR 0.10 [95%CI 0.02-0.68]). IL-10 levels were higher in persons with rejection (HR 2.10 [95%CI 1.01-4.34]). No markers predicted severe recurrent HCV. Monocyte activation pre-LT may be mechanistically linked to graft health in HIV-HCV co-infection.