In studies from other African settings, hepatotoxicity from TB therapy has been reported to be low [27, 28]. In Tanzania, the prevalence of hepatotoxicity was only 0.9% at 2 months of TB therapy . Similarly, in Malawi, among HIV-infected ART-naïve patients during TB treatment, only five (1.3%) developed grade 2 hepatotoxicity (defined as ALT = 126–250 IU/L), three (0.9%) developed grade 3 hepatotoxicity (defined as ALT = 251–500 IU/L) and there was no grade 4 hepatotoxicity (defined as ALT > 500 IU/L) . Breen et al. found serious adverse events of TB therapy in 40% of HIV-infected patients, AZD2281 supplier 71% of whom were on concomitant ART, as opposed to only 26% of HIV uninfected patients (P = 0.008). However, the
rate of hepatotoxicity was comparable between the two groups . Therefore, it is likely that the risk of hepatotoxicity with anti-TB therapy observed among HIV-infected individuals is a result of interaction or confounding with other risk factors such as hepatitis C, hepatitis B or ART treatment and not HIV infection per se, as has been previously suggested . Our study had several limitations. First, we did not collect data on illicit drugs or alcohol consumption, which are important risks for elevated
ALT. Secondly, we were unable to include 37% of patients otherwise eligible for our programme, either because they were non-ART-naïve at enrolment (10%) or because of missing baseline ALT measurements (27%). Patients included in this analysis were sicker with more advanced VX-765 HIV infection. Our study and others published in the literature have found that the risk of elevated ALT is higher in patients with more advanced HIV disease. Thus, the prevalence of elevated ALT may be somewhat overestimated in this report. However, there was also a small significant
difference in the distribution by district, but is not clear how district would affect the prevalence Hydroxychloroquine clinical trial estimates. Regardless of the district, all clinics included in this analysis are supported by the same programme, MDH-PEPFAR, which offers similar care to patients. It is important to emphasize that these small differences in baseline characteristics between the patients included in this analysis and those excluded are not expected to interfere with the internal validity of this analysis, particularly concerning the risk factors identified in Table 2. Thirdly, because this study was cross-sectional, the temporal sequence of exposure and outcome cannot be ascertained. A longitudinal design would allow for a more precise determination of predictors of elevated ALT. Use of a laboratory surrogate marker (i.e. elevated ALT level) as a sign for hepatopathy is less sensitive than other noninvasive and invasive measures of detecting liver disease, such as Fibroscan® (ECHOSENS; Paris, France) and liver biopsy. However, these investigations are neither available nor feasible in the study setting.