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The role of insulin resistance in HIV/hepatitis C virus-coinfected patients

Eslam, Mohammeda; López-Cortés, Luis F.b; Romero-Gomez, Manuela

Current Opinion in HIV and AIDS: November 2011 - Volume 6 - Issue 6 - p 553–558
doi: 10.1097/COH.0b013e32834bd21d
HIV and hepatitis C coinfection: Edited by Jürgen Rockstroh and Gail Matthews

Purpose of review Insulin resistance, HIV, antiviral drugs and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection contribute to a complex interaction involving the metabolic syndrome. The objective of this review was to explore the meaning of insulin resistance in HIV–HCV-coinfected patients and how it may impact on sustained virological response (SVR) and disease progression.

Recent findings In the HIV/HCV coinfection setting, insulin resistance seems to be associated with a reduction in rapid virological response and SVR to pegylated interferon and ribavirin, both in naive and treatment experienced patients. A recent meta-analysis demonstrated insulin resistance impairs SVR rate with an odds ratio 0.47 (95% confidence interval 0.31–0.71). However, many confounding factors may promote contradictory results. Prevalence of insulin resistance depends on surrogate markers of insulin resistance and the threshold for defining impaired insulin sensitivity. For example, homeostasis model for the assessment of insulin resistance may be influenced by both methods of insulin measurement and interpretation. Insulin sensitizers, lifestyle changes and improvement in the use of protease inhibitors should be evaluated in the management of coinfected patients.

Summary Insulin resistance is common finding in patients with HIV/HCV coinfection, with wide clinical consequences including progression of hepatic fibrosis and reduction in the response to antiviral treatment. Our understanding of this relationship continues to improve. More prospective studies are required to improve future management.

aUnit for The Clinical Management of Digestive Diseases and CIBERehd, Hospital Universitario de Valme, Ctra de Cadiz s/n

bUnit of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology. Hospitales Universitarios Virgen del Rocío, Instituto de Biomedicina de Sevilla, Sevilla, Spain

Correspondence to Manuel Romero-Gómez, MD, Unit for The Clinical Management of Digestive Diseases and CIBERehd, Hospital Universitario de Valme, Ctra de Cadiz s/n, Sevilla 41014, SpainTel: +34 955 015761; fax: +34 955 015899; e-mail:

© 2011 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.