Recipient-Donor race mismatch for African American liver transplant patients with chronic hepatitis C


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African American (AA) recipient-donor race mismatch has been associated with graft loss and mortality, but studies of an association between race mismatch and hepatitis C virus (HCV) disease severity are lacking. HCV-infected adults from 4 US centers who underwent liver transplantation for the first time (n = 1093) were followed for a median of 3.05 years to determine the rates of advanced HCV disease (bridging fibrosis or cirrhosis) and graft failure; 11% of the patients were AA. The unadjusted cumulative rate of advanced fibrosis was higher in AAs than non-AAs (56% and 40% at 4 years, respectively, (P < 0.01), and 59% and 56% for AA recipient-donor–matched patients and AA recipient-donor–mismatched patients, respectively (P = 0.89). In adjusted models, both AA recipient race [hazard ratio (HR) = 1.47, 95% CI = 1.06-2.03, P = 0.02] and AA recipient-donor mismatch (versus match; HR = 1.48, 95% CI = 1.03-2.12, P = 0.03) were significant predictors of advanced fibrosis; other independent predictors were donor age (HR = 1.21, P < 0.01) and cytomegalovirus infection (HR = 1.55, P < 0.01). The 4-year unadjusted cumulative rates for HCV-associated graft loss were 10% and 17% for non-AAs and AAs, respectively (P < 0.01), and 0% and 21% for AA recipient-donor–matched patients and AA recipient-donor–mismatched patients, respectively (P < 0.01). In adjusted models, AA recipient-donor–mismatched patients had a 62% higher rate of graft loss than non-AA recipients (HR = 1.62, 95% CI = 1.14-2.29, P < 0.01), and AA recipient-donor–matched patients had a 76% lower rate of graft loss/mortality (HR = 0.24, 95% CI = 0.06-0.97, P = 0.05). In conclusion, AA recipient-donor–mismatched patients who are infected with HCV are at high risk for advanced HCV disease and HCV-related graft loss and constitute a patient group that will benefit from new therapeutic strategies for preventing graft loss. Liver Transpl, 2012. © 2012 AASLD.