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Keywords:

  • Graft loss;
  • prognosis;
  • recurrent hepatitis C;
  • transient elastography

Abstract

The value of transient elastography (TE) to assess clinical outcomes in hepatitis C recurrence after liver transplantation (LT) has not been explored so far. We studied 144 hepatitis C–infected and 48 non–hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected LT recipients and evaluated the prognostic value of TE 1 year after transplantation to predict clinical decompensations and graft and patient survival. In HCV patients, cumulative probabilities of liver decompensation 5 years after LT were 8% for patients with liver stiffness measurement (LSM) <8.7 kilopascals (kPa) versus 47% for patients with LSM ≥ 8.7 kPa (p < 0.001). Five-year graft and patient cumulative survival were 90% and 92% in patients with LSM < 8.7 kPa (p < 0.001) and 63% and 64% in patients with LSM ≥ 8.7 kPa, respectively (p < 0.001). Patients with low LSM 1 year after LT had excellent outcomes independently from receiving antiviral treatment or achieving sustained virological response (SVR). In contrast, graft survival significantly improved in patients with LSM ≥ 8.7 kPa who achieved SVR. No association between outcomes and LSM at 12 months was observed in non-HCV patients. In conclusion, LSM 1 year after LT is a valuable tool to predict hepatitis C-related outcomes in recurrent hepatitis C and can be used in clinical practice to identify the best candidates for antiviral therapy.