What Liver Problems Does HIV Cause?

  • Medical Editor: William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

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I want to know what liver abnormalities are related to HIV.

Doctor's response

There are many causes of abnormal liver tests (transaminitis) in patient with HIV infection or AIDS. The most common are infections, particularly viral and mycobacterial. Other common causes are the medications that are used to treat the HIV and its complications. Often a definite cause for the abnormal tests cannot be found. If there is great concern about the liver, a biopsy of the liver can be done although such biopsies infrequently discover a disease or complication that is not already known or at least suspected.

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Reviewed on 1/11/2018