Treatment of established recurrent hepatitis C in liver-transplant recipients with pegylated interferon-alfa-2b and ribavirin therapy

Guy W. Neff, Marzia Montalbano, Christopher B. O'Brien, Seigo Nishida, Kamran Safdar, Pablo A Bejarano, Amr S. Khaled, Phillip Ruiz, Gabriella Slapak-Green, Mei Lee, Jose Nery, Maria De Medina, Andreas Tzakis, Eugene R. Schiff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

101 Scopus citations


Introduction. The management issues of transplant patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) are complex, and interferon therapy is often ineffective. We present data from a retrospective review in liver-transplant recipients suffering from HCV recurrence that were treated with pegylated alpha-2b interferon and ribavirin. Methods. A retrospective review of transplant recipients that received combination pegylated alpha-2b interferon (1.5 mcg/kg/wk) and ribavirin (400-600 mg/day) therapy intended for at least 48 weeks. Complications were recorded and included neutropenia (<750 cells), anemia (hemoglobin <8 g) with and without treatment consisting of blood transfusions, erythropoietin, or dose reduction of ribavirin, and depression. The diagnosis of HCV recurrence was determined by an increase in liver chemistries, histopathologic findings with inflammation along with viral recurrence using the COBAS AMPLICOR HCV test. Results. Fifty-seven liver-transplant recipients were included, 29 naïve (group 1) to therapy and 28 nonresponders (group 2) to at least 6 months of interferon and ribavirin therapy. Eight (27.6%) patients in group 1 and six (21%) patients in group 2 were HCV nondetectable at the end of 48 weeks of therapy. Ribavirin therapy was decreased in 13 of 29 (45%) for group 1 and 11 of 28 (39%) in group 2. Therapeutic interventions were 4 of 57 (7%) blood transfusions, 23 of 57 (40%) erythropoietin, and 17 of 57 (30%) filgrastim. Conclusion. Combination pegylated interferon with ribavirin appears to effective therapy in HCV recurrence and in HCV nonresponsive to interferon and ribavirin. This data reveals the difficulty and caution that must be taken when treating HCV-R liver-transplant recipients with combination pegylated alpha-2b interferon and ribavirin therapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1303-1307
Number of pages5
Issue number9
StatePublished - Nov 15 2004


  • Fulminant hepatic failure
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Hepatitis C virus
  • Interferon
  • Orthotopic liver transplantation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation
  • Immunology


Dive into the research topics of 'Treatment of established recurrent hepatitis C in liver-transplant recipients with pegylated interferon-alfa-2b and ribavirin therapy'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this