The natural history and outcome of liver transplantation in hepatitis C virus-infected recipients


  • Edward Gane

    Corresponding author
    1. New Zealand Liver Transplant Unit, Auckland Hospital, Auckland, New Zealand
    • New Zealand Liver Transplant Unit, Private Bag 92024, Auckland 1, New Zealand. Telephone: 649-529-4001; FAX: 649-529-4061
    Search for more papers by this author


Key points

1. Recurrence of hepatitis C infection is universal and immediate after liver transplantation.

2. Graft and patient survival is reduced in liver transplantation recipients with recurrent hepatitis C virus infection compared with hepatitis C virus-negative recipients.

3. The natural history of chronic hepatitis C is accelerated after liver transplantation compared with nontransplantation chronic hepatitis C; 20% to 40% of patients progress to allograft cirrhosis within 5 years, compared with less than 5% of nontransplantation patients.

4. The rate of fibrosis progression is not uniform and may change over time.

5. The rate of progression from cirrhosis to decompensation is accelerated after liver transplantation. The rate of decompensation is >40% at 1 year and >60% at 3 years, compared with <5% and <10%, respectively, in immunocompetent patients.

6. The rate of progression from decompensation to death is also accelerated after liver transplantation. The 3-year survival is <10% after the onset of hepatitis C virus-related allograft failure, compared with 60% after decompensation in immunocompetent patients.