Researchers from Spain established that liver stiffness, measured by transient elastography (TE), is an independent predictor of liver failure, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), and mortality in cirrhotic patients coinfected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) or acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), and hepatitis C virus (HCV). Findings available in the July issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, also show that measurement of liver stiffness predicts potential recovery and survival in patients with cirrhosis, adding to the prognosis value provided by the Child-Turcotte-Pugh (CTP) or model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) scores.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), chronic HCV affects up to 170 million people worldwide, with more than 350,000 of those dying from HCV-related liver diseases annually. WHO also reports that in 2010 nearly 34 million individuals worldwide were living with HIV. Additionally, a 2008 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) found that mortality rates were highest among those infected with HCV at nearly five deaths per 100,000 people. In fact, since 1999 deaths from HCV have steadily increased and now exceed HIV infection mortalities.