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Abstract

Liver transplantation is being evaluated as a therapeutic option for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)-infected patients with end-stage liver disease, but experience is still scarce. We describe the outcome of 4 HIV-infected patients who underwent liver transplantation in our hospital between July 2002 and April 2003. HIV-infected liver transplant recipients meet the same standard criteria for transplantation as do HIV-negative candidates. In addition, HIV infected persons are required to have a CD4 T-cell count greater than 100/mL (CD4 T-cells are targets for HIV infection). Immunosuppressive regimens, perioperative surgical prophylaxis, and prophylaxis for opportunistic infections are standard in the Liver Transplantation Unit in our hospital. Four patients, including 3 former intravenous drug users, received a liver transplant (2 from deceased donors and 2 from living donors), with a median follow-up of 510 days. Three patients (75%) are alive, with 1 death occurring 17 months posttransplantation in a patient who developed fibrosing cholestatic hepatitis. Rejection occurred in 1 patient, and was managed with no complications. Hepatitis C virus (HCV) recurrence occurred in 3 patients. HIV-infection has remained under control with antiretroviral treatment. A combination of 3 nucleoside analogs was used in 3 patients, with no need for drug adjustments. No opportunistic infections or other significant infectious complications developed. In conclusion, orthotopic liver transplantation seems a safe therapeutic option in the short term for HIV-infected persons with end stage liver disease, including patients with a history of drug abuse. If indicated, an antiretroviral regimen consisting of 3 nucleosides could be used to avoid interactions with immunosuppressive drugs. (Liver Transpl 2005;11:76–81.)