It is difficult to use protease inhibitors in patients with recurrent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection after liver transplantation (LT) due to interaction with immunosuppressive drugs. We report our experience with two patients treated with telaprevir (TVR) combined with pegylated interferon/ribavirin (PEG IFN/RBV) for recurrent HCV genotype 1 infection after LT. The first was a 63-year-old man with HCV-related liver cirrhosis, who failed to respond to IFN-β plus RBV after LT. Treatment was switched to PEG IFN-α-2b plus RBV and TVR was started. The donor had TT genotype of interleukin (IL)-28 single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) (rs8099917). The recipient had TT genotype of IL-28 SNP (rs8099917). Completion of 12-week triple therapy was followed by PEG IFN-α-2b plus RBV for 36 weeks. Finally, he had sustained viral response. The second was a 70-year-old woman with HCV-related liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. She failed to respond to PEG IFN-α-2b plus RBV after LT, and was subsequently switched to PEG IFN-α-2b/RBV/TVR. Genotype analysis showed TG genotype of IL-28 SNP for the donor, and TT genotype of IL-28 SNP for the recipient. Serum HCV RNA titer decreased below the detection limit at 5 weeks. However, triple therapy was withdrawn at 11 weeks due to general fatigue, which resulted in HCV RNA rebound 4 weeks later. Both patients were treated with cyclosporin, starting with a small dose to avoid interactions with TVR. TVR is a potentially suitable agent for LT recipients who do not respond to PEG IFN-α-2b plus RBV after LT.
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