Liver transplantation for hepatitis C

TitleLiver transplantation for hepatitis C
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsMarubashi S, Dono K, Miyamoto A, Takeda Y, Nagano H, Umeshita K, Monden M
JournalJ Hepatobiliary Pancreat Surg
Pagination382 - 92
ISSN0944-1166 (Print) 0944-1166 (Linking)
Accession Number17013711
Keywords*Liver Transplantation, Hepatitis C / drug therapy / *surgery, Humans, Immunosuppression / methods, Interferons / administration & dosage, Recurrence, Ribavirin / administration & dosage

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is the leading cause of endstage liver disease in Western and Asian countries. However, after liver transplantation, HCV recurs in virtually all patients, and estimated HCV-related graft cirrhosis at 5-year follow-up is 30%. Although immunosuppression accounts for a major part of the accelerated progression of HCV in the transplant population, the best immunosuppression for recipients with HCV that could avoid such complication remains unknown at present. Combination therapy of interferon and ribavirin is thought to be the most effective for the treatment or prophylaxis of HCV infection. However, who should be treated, when treatment should be initiated, and with what agent should patients with HCV infection be treated are still unknown. The current data on HCV recurrence in patients who have received either living- or deceased-donor liver transplantation are controversial, but they are, presumably, similar. Thus, to avoid HCV recurrence in living-donor liver transplantation, we have to take approaches similar to those used for patients receiving deceased-donor liver transplantation. Based on reports from major transplant centers around the world, we consider the best strategy for liver transplantation-related HCV infection is steroid-free immunosuppression and preemptive low-dose interferon and ribavirin combination therapy. Here we describe our experience with living-donor liver transplantion for patients with hepatitis C at Osaka University. There is a need for standardizing the treatment for HCV infection. This can only be achieved through collaborative work between various liver transplant centers worldwide.

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