Outcomes of liver transplantation in HIV-infected individuals: The impact of HCV and HBV infection



Liver transplantation (LT) in human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-positive individuals is considered to be an experimental therapy with limited reported worldwide experience, and little long-term survival data. Published data suggest that the short-term outcome is encouraging in selected patients. Here, we report our experience in 14 HIV-infected liver allograft recipients, and compare outcomes between those coinfected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) and the non-HCV group. A total of 14 HIV-infected patients (12 male, 2 female, age range 26-59 years) underwent LT between January 1995 and April 2003. Indications for LT were HCV (n = 7), hepatitis B virus (HBV; n = 4), alcohol-induced liver disease (n = 2), and seronegative hepatitis (n = 1); 3 patients presented with acute liver failure. At LT, CD4 cell counts (T-helper cells that are targets for HIV) ranged from 124 to 500 cells/μL (mean 264), and HIV viral loads from <50 to 197,000 copies/mL. Nine of 12 patients were exposed to highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) before LT. In the non-HCV group (n = 7), all patients are alive, all surviving more than 365 days (range 668-2,661 days). No patient has experienced HBV recurrence, and graft function is normal in all 7 patients. However, 5 of 7 HCV-infected patients died after LT at 95-784 days (median 161 days). A total of 4 patients died of complications due to recurrent HCV infection and sepsis, despite antiviral therapy in 3 of them. A total of 3 patients experienced complications relating to HAART therapy. In conclusion, outcome of LT in HIV-infected patients with HBV or other causes of chronic liver disease indicates that LT is an acceptable therapeutic option in selected patients. However, longer follow-up in larger series is required before a conclusive directive can be provided for HCV / HIV coinfected patients requiring LT. (Liver Transpl 2004;10:1271–1278.)