Prevalence of cryoglobulinemia in hepatitis C virus (HCV) positive patients with and without human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) coinfection

Charlene S. Dezzutti, Jacquie Astemborski, David L. Thomas, James H. Marshall, Thania Cabrera, Michael Purdy, David Vlahov, Richard S. Garfein

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Coinfection with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) has been shown to influence the natural history of hepatitis C infection. Objective: Our interest was to determine if HIV coinfection influences the prevalence of cryoglobulinemia in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infected persons. Study design: A total of 384 HCV RNA positive (234 HIV-infected and 150 HIV-uninfected) participants were tested at two visits, 18 months apart, for HCV and HIV RNA, CD4, and liver enzyme levels. Serum cryoglobulin levels were measured at a subsequent visit for a subset of the sample. Results: HIV-infected participants had significantly higher HCV RNA levels (P < 0.0001) and aspartate transaminase (AST) levels (P < 0.0001), but not alanine transaminase (ALT) levels (P > 0.05) as compared with HIV-uninfected participants. These findings were consistent at both visits and no significant changes were observed between visits. Fifty (19%) of the 264 participants tested had detectable cryoglobulins. No difference was observed in HIV seropositivity among participants with or without cryoglobulinemia (68% versus 61%; odds ratio = 1.34, P = 0.37). However, among HIV coinfected participants, elevated AST levels (P = 0.04) and lower CD4 levels (P = 0.02) were associated with cryoglobulinemia. Conclusions: While previously reported associations were found between HIV and coinfection with HCV in this study, we did not find an association between HIV infection and cryoglobulinemia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-214
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical Virology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 2004


  • ALT
  • AST
  • Coinfection
  • Cryoglobulinemia
  • HCV
  • HIV
  • Human immunodeficiency virus
  • alanine transaminase
  • aspartate transaminase
  • hepatitis C Virus
  • highly active antiretroviral therapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Virology
  • Infectious Diseases


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