Benefit of Sustained Virological Response to Combination Therapy on Graft Survival of Liver Transplanted Patients with Recurrent Chronic Hepatitis C


*Corresponding author: Thierry Bizollon,


Recurrent hepatitis C infection is an important cause of progressive fibrosis, cirrhosis and graft loss after liver transplantation. Treatment for post-transplant recurrence results in sustained virological response (SVR) in up to 30% of cases. The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of SVR on patients and graft survival. Thirty-four patients with an SVR to IFN-ribavirin were included. Forty-six nonresponders to the combination formed the control group. Follow-up data were recorded every 6 months and included HCV RNA, and the occurrence of clinical problems (cirrhosis, decompensation, hepatocellular carcinoma, death). A graft biopsy was performed every year. The mean follow-up duration was 52 months in responders and 57 months in nonresponders. Two patients died in each group of patients. Two patients with SVR developed late virological relapse. Fibrosis decreased in 38% of patients with SVR, remained stable in 44% and worsened in 18%. In contrast, fibrosis increased in the majority of nonresponder patients (74%, p < 0.001). At the end of follow-up, no patient without cirrhosis at inclusion developed cirrhosis of the graft versus 9 among nonresponder patients (p = 0.009). No difference in patient survival was observed in the two groups. In conclusion, this study shows that HCV eradication has a positive impact on graft survival.