Introduction. Adequate immune suppression following liver transplantation in recipients with recurrence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) is not standardized. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between immune suppression protocol and the clinical/histological parameters in HCV transplant recipients with an HCV recurrence. Methods. A retrospective analysis was performed on recipients of liver transplants from June 1998 to October 2003 who experienced HCV recurrence. Only patients with liver biopsies at 3 to 5 years following liver transplantation were included in the analysis. The data set included: patient demographics, immune suppression, antiviral therapies, as well as histology to evaluate ductopenia and chronic rejection. Patients divided into groups of high, medium, and low immune suppression were subdivided by treatment with versus without interferon. A control group with similar demographics suffering from cryptogenic cirrhosis was used for comparison. Results. During this period 45 patients had liver biopsies at 3 to 5 years posttransplantation. Their mean age was 56.5 years and mean time from transplant to biopsy was 1543 days. Their average posttransplant survival was 1964 days. There was no difference among the three groups with respect to HCV RNA levels (log 10 IU/mL), age, gender, time from transplant, donor age, and UNOS status. Median HCV RNA levels within the three groups were comparable at various time periods pre- and posttransplant. Conclusion. The development of chronic allograft damage following transplantation in recipients with recurrent HCV tended to be worse among patients with low levels of immune suppression, suggesting the importance of therapy to maintain allograft function.
|Number of pages||3|
|State||Published - Dec 1 2004|
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