Hepatitis C virus (HCV) remains common in patients undergoing regular dialysis and is an important cause of liver disease in this population both during dialysis and after renal transplantation (RT). Anti-HCV screening of blood products has almost eliminated posttransfusion HCV infection but acquisition of HCV continues to occur in dialysis patients because of nosocomial spread. The natural history of HCV in dialysis population is not completely understood though recent data show that HCV infection has a detrimental role on survival of chronic dialysis patients. Several clinical trials have suggested that the response rate to conventional interferon (IFN) is higher in dialysis patients than those with normal kidney function but tolerance is lower. There are only limited data about pegylated IFN alone or in association with ribavirin for hepatitis C in dialysis population. IFN remains contraindicated post-RT because of concern about precipitating graft dysfunction; however, preliminary evidence shows the durability of sustained response to antiviral therapy pre-RT after renal transplant. Successful pretransplant therapy is associated with several benefits after RT including reduced incidence of posttransplant diabetes mellitus and de novo glomerulonephritis in HCV-infected recipients.
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