October 10, 2013
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HCV increased risk for HIV neuroretinal disorder

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Hepatitis C virus was a risk factor for HIV-associated neuroretinal disorder, researchers from Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have found.

The researchers evaluated risk factors for HIV-associated neuroretinal disorder (HIV-NRD) among 244 patients with HIV-NRD and 1,332 patients without. All patients were enrolled in the Longitudinal Studies of Ocular Complications of AIDS (LSOCA). In a multivariable analysis, HIV-NRD was significantly associated with chronic HCV infection, being female and nonwhite race.

Among 1,220 patients, the researchers also analyzed the development of HIV-NRD with a median follow-up of 4.9 years. There were 263 incident cases of HIV-NRD. They found that HIV-NRD was associated with HCV infection, age 43 years and older, being female and having an HIV viral load of 10,000 copies/mL.

Four single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in the IL10R1 gene were examined to evaluate associations with chronic HCV infection. This study included 902 patients who had data for at least one SNP available. Among these patients, 140 had HIV-NRD at baseline. Three of the SNPs had a significant association with chronic HCV: rs2228055 SNP in the total study group and in white patients; rs2229113 in white patients, trending toward significance in the entire study group; and rs3135932 in white patients. None were associated with HIV-NRD.

“Inflammation may be the mechanistic link between HCV infection and HIV-NRD, although it is also possible that HCV contributes more directly by infecting ocular tissues, thereby reducing their integrity,” the researchers wrote. “Reducing systemic infections such as HCV infection, by treating appropriately selected patients, may decrease HIV-NRD and benefit patients with HIV/AIDS.”

Disclosure: See the full study for a list of researchers’ financial disclosures.