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Keywords:

  • chronic kidney disease;
  • haemodialysis;
  • HCV infection;
  • renal transplantation

Abstract

The most frequent kidney disease associated with chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is membranoproliferative glomerulonephritis in patients with type II mixed cryoglobulinaemia. The principal clinical manifestations of glomerular disease in HCV-infected patients are the presence of proteinuria and haematuria with or without impaired kidney function. Pharmaceutical regimens vary because the main pathogenesis of renal dysfunction often mediated by cryoglobulins has not been fully elucidated. HCV infection remains common in patients on renal replacement therapy and has an adverse impact on their survival. Safe and effective pharmaceutical regimens have not been yet established and nosocomial spread within dialysis units continues to occur. Monotherapy with interferon for HCV infection is probably more effective in dialysis than in non-uraemic patients, while experience with ribavirin is limited because of its adverse haemolytic effect. Based on shortage of cadaver kidneys and the fact that HCV renal transplant recipients have better survival than stay on maintenance haemodialysis or at list for transplantation, health organization proposed the use of cadaver kidneys from anti-HCV-positive donors, bringing up concerns and conflicting views. This present review describes the main renal manifestations of HCV infection, the epidemiological and clinical characteristics of chronic kidney disease population and comments on the limitations and shortcomings of current therapeutical regiments.