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Keywords:

  • HCV;
  • immunosuppression;
  • liver transplantation;
  • recurrence;
  • treatment

Hepatitis C-associated liver failure is the most common indication for liver transplantation, with virological recurrence near ubiquitous. Approximately 30% of HCV-infected recipients will die or lose their allograft or develop cirrhosis secondary to hepatitis C recurrence by the fifth postoperative year, with the proportion increasing with duration of follow-up. Strategies for minimizing the frequency of severe HCV recurrence include avoidance of older donors, early diagnosis/treatment of CMV and minimization of immunosuppression, particularly T-cell depleting therapies and pulsed corticosteroid treatment of acute cellular rejection. Patients should be offered treatment with peginterferon and ribavirin before LT if MELD ≤ 17 or as soon as histological evidence of recurrence of HCV is apparent post-LT. Because of the high frequency of hemotoxicity and renal insufficiency, ribavirin should be dosed according to renal function.