The PNPLA3 Genetic Variant rs738409 Influences the Progression to Cirrhosis in HIV/Hepatitis C Virus Coinfected Patients.

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Contradictory data about the impact of the rs738409 steatosis-related polymorphism within PNPLA3 gene on liver fibrosis progression in HIV/hepatitis C virus (HIV/HCV)-coinfected patients have been reported. Our objective was to test whether this, and other polymorphisms previously related to fatty liver disease in HIV infection linked to SAMM50 or LPPR4 genes, influence liver fibrosis progression in HIV/HCV-coinfected individuals. Three hundred and thirty two HIV/HCV-coinfected patients who consecutively attended four Spanish university hospitals from November 2011 to July 2013 were included. A liver stiffness cut-off of 14.6 kPa, as determined by transient elastography, was used to diagnose cirrhosis. Liver stiffness progression was studied in 171 individuals who had two available LS determinations without anti-HCV treatment between them. Moreover, 28 HIV/HCV-coinfected patients who underwent liver transplant, as well as 19 non-cirrhotic coinfected individuals used as controls, were included in an additional study. Only rs738409 was associated with cirrhosis: 45 (29.6%) of 152 G allele carriers versus 36 (20.0%) of 180 CC carriers showed cirrhosis (multivariate p = 0.018; adjusted odds ratio = 1.98; 95% confidence interval = 1.12-3.50). Also, 21 (30.4%) of 69 G allele carriers versus 16 (15.7%) of 102 CC patients showed significant liver stiffness progression (adjusted p-value = 0.015; adjusted odds ratio = 2.89; 95% confidence interval = 1.23-6.83). Finally, the proportion of rs738409 G allele carriers was significantly higher in transplanted individuals than in controls (p = 0.044, odds ratio = 3.43; 95% confidence interval = 1.01-11.70). Our results strongly suggest that the rs738409 polymorphism is associated with liver fibrosis progression in HIV/HCV-coinfected patients.
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