Liver Steatosis is Prevalent in Lean People With HIV and Associated With Exposure to Antiretroviral Treatment - A Cross-sectional Study

Louise E. Van Eekeren, Nadira Vadaq, Wilhelm A.J.W. Vos, Marc J.T. Blaauw, Albert L. Groenendijk, Jan Van Lunzen, Janneke E. Stalenhoef, Marvin A.H. Berrevoets, Annelies Verbon, Gert Weijers, Mihai G. Netea, André J.A.M. Van Der Ven, Quirijn De Mast, Leo A.B. Joosten, Eric T.T.L. Tjwa*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Background: Steatotic liver disease is suggested to have a higher prevalence and severity in people with HIV (PHIV), including in those with a normal body mass index (BMI). In this study, we used data from the 2000HIV cohort to (1) assess the prevalence of liver steatosis and fibrosis in lean versus overweight/obese PHIV and (2) assess associations in these subgroups between steatosis and fibrosis with traditional risk factors and HIV-specific characteristics. Methods: The 2000HIV study cohort comprises 1895 virally suppressed PHIV that were included between 2019 and 2021 in 4 HIV treatment centers in the Netherlands. The majority (58.5%) underwent vibration-controlled transient elastography for the assessment of liver steatosis and fibrosis. The prevalence of steatosis (controlled attenuation parameter ≥263 dB/m) and fibrosis (liver stiffness measurement ≥7.0 kPa) was estimated. Multiple factors including HIV characteristics and antiretroviral drugs were tested in a logistic regression model for association with steatosis and fibrosis. Analyses were performed separately for lean (Asian descent: BMI < 23 kg/m2, other descent: BMI < 25 kg/m2) and overweight/obese (other BMI) participants. Results: Of 1050 PHIV including 505 lean and 545 overweight/obese PHIV, liver steatosis was observed in 37.7% of the overall study population, 19.7% of lean, and 54% of overweight/obese PHIV, whereas fibrosis was observed in 9.0% of the overall study population, 5.9% of lean, and 12.0% of overweight/obese PHIV. All associations with fibrosis and most associations with steatosis concerned metabolic factors such as type 2 diabetes mellitus (overall population: adjusted odds ratio [aOR] for steatosis: 2.3 [1.21-4.4], P =. 011; aOR for fibrosis: 3.7 [1.82-7.53], P <. 001). Furthermore, in lean PLHIV, liver steatosis was associated with CD4 and CD8 counts at enrollment, dual therapy, and history of treatment with raltegravir (aOR: 3.6 [1.53-8.47], P =. 003), stavudine (aOR: 3.73 [1.69-8.2], P =. 001), and indinavir (aOR: 3.86 [1.59-9.37], P =. 003). These associations were not observed in overweight/obese PHIV. Conclusions: Liver steatosis was highly prevalent, affecting approximately one-fifth of lean PHIV and half of overweight/obese PHIV. Fibrosis was observed in a minority. Both steatosis and fibrosis were associated with traditional metabolic risk factors. In addition, (prior) exposure to specific antiretroviral drugs was associated liver steatosis in lean, but not in overweight/obese PHIV. Implementing increased screening protocols could enhance the identification of steatotic liver disease in lean PHIV.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberofae266
JournalOpen Forum Infectious Diseases
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2024

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Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America.


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