• acute cellular rejection;
  • fibrosis progression;
  • hepatitis C virus-recurrence;
  • YKL-40-variants


Background and Aim

The development of end-stage graft disease is suspected to be partially determined by an individual genetic background. The aim of our study was to determine the prevalence of YKL-40-gene polymorphism in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive patients and its impact on the incidence of acute cellular rejection (ACR), graft fibrosis and antiviral treatment response.


A total of 149 patients, who underwent liver transplantation for HCV-induced liver disease, were genotyped for YKL-40 (rs4950928; G/C) by TaqMan Genotyping Assay. The results were correlated with 616 post-transplant graft biopsies regarding inflammation, fibrosis and evidence for ACR.


No association of YKL-40-gemotypes was observed regarding mean inflammation grade (P = 0.216) and antiviral treatment outcome (P = 0.733). However, the development of advanced fibrosis (F3-4) was significantly faster in patients with YKL-40-G-allele: t(CC) = 4.6 versus t(CG/GG) = 2.4 years; P = 0.006. Patients with lower fibrosis (F0-2) compared to advanced fibrosis (F3-4) received significantly more frequent dual immunosuppression (calcineurin inhibitors [CNIs]/mofetile mycophenolate [MMF] vs CNIs; P = 0.003). ACR-occurrence was associated with YKL-40-genotypes (ACR: CC = 60.4%, CG = 25.0% and GG = 14.6% vs non-ACR: CC = 74.2%, CG = 23.8% and GG = 2.0%; P = 0.009) and with gender compatibility between donor and recipient (P = 0.012).


Fibrosis progression and ACR-incidence after transplantation for HCV-induced liver disease seem to be under genetic control. The negative impact of G-allele on post-transplant events observed in our study, deserves attention and should be verified in larger liver transplantation-cohorts.