Conflicts of Interest None of the authors have any conflict of interest to declare with regards to the content of this article.
Virological response for recurrent hepatitis C improves long-term survival in liver transplant recipients
Article first published online: 8 NOV 2012
© 2012 The Authors Transplant International © 2012 European Society for Organ Transplantation. Published by Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Volume 26, Issue 1, pages 42–49, January 2013
How to Cite
Tanaka, T., Selzner, N., Therapondos, G., Renner, E. L. and Lilly, L. B. (2013), Virological response for recurrent hepatitis C improves long-term survival in liver transplant recipients. Transplant International, 26: 42–49. doi: 10.1111/j.1432-2277.2012.01571.x
- Issue published online: 12 DEC 2012
- Article first published online: 8 NOV 2012
- Received: 30 April 2012 Revision requested: 23 May 2012 Accepted: 3 September 2012 Published online: 8 November 2012
- end-of-treatment response;
- hepatitis C;
- liver transplant;
- sustained virological response
Recurrent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection occurs universally and is regarded as a major cause of mortality after liver transplantation (LT) for HCV-related end-stage liver disease. We conducted this large, single-center, retrospective study to ascertain the long-term impact of virological response to treatment of recurrent hepatitis C on survival of LT recipients. From August 1987 to October 2011, 285 patients have received interferon-based antiviral therapy for recurrent hepatitis C. Of these 285, 245 patients were enrolled in this study. One hundred and twenty-six patients (51.4%) achieved sustained virological response (SVR). Relapsers (undetectable HCV-RNA at end of treatment, becoming positive afterward) comprised 9.0% (22/245), and nonresponse (NR; never achieving undetectable HCV-RNA) 39.6% (97/245). The median follow-up after completion of antiviral treatment was 2081 days. Using Kaplan–Meier method, patients who achieved SVR were shown to have significantly better 5-year patient survival (95.2%) than the NR group (49.9%) (P < 0.001), and a trend toward better 5-year survival than relapsers (87.5%) (P = 0.14); relapsers had a significantly longer survival than NR group (P = 0.005). When compared with NR, SVR and relapse appeared to be significant predictors of better survival, independent of underlying characteristics. In conclusion, virological response, especially SVR, translates into markedly improved long-term patient outcomes in patients transplanted for hepatitis C.