We discussed a young male with past medical history of syphilis (incompletely treated) and recently diagnosed HIV (4 days prior to admission) who was admitted for elevated liver enzymes found incidentally. Liver enzymes consisted of mildly elevated alkaline phosphatase and bilirubin but extremely elevated AST/ALT in 4000s. Only a few entities cause elevation to the thousands. He was found to have acute co-infection of HIV and Hepatitis B.
If AST/ALTs are in the thousands, there are only a few entities that can cause this:
- Ischemia (shock liver)
- Toxins (Tylenol is most common), Amanita aka magic mushrooms, herbal supplements (we don’t know what they put in these!)
- Acute viral hepatitis (HAV, HBV, HCV, HEV, HSV, CMV, VZV, parvovirus)
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Acute Budd Chiari
- Reactivation HBV, HDV
- HLH (we seem to see this a lot in this hospital for some reason?)
- Malignant infiltration
- Wilsonian Crisis (severe hemolysis and impending acute liver failure in setting of Wilson’s)
According to the CDC, approx 10% of people with HIV in the US also have chronic or acute HBV. There is accelerated progression to liver disease and increased all cause mortality for HIV-HBV co-infection when compared to HIV mono infection. Monotherapy of HBV is not recommended in the HIV co-infected due to the evolution of HIV resistance. Recommended antiretroviral regimens for treating persons with HIV-HBV coinfection should include three medications that are active against HIV and two medications that are active against HBV.The preferred regimens include tenofovir alafenamide-emtricitabine, tenofovir DF-emtricitabine, or tenofovir DF plus lamivudine as part of a fully suppressive antiretroviral regimen.