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Keywords:

  • antiviral therapy;
  • boceprevir;
  • direct-acting antiviral;
  • hepatitis C;
  • interferon;
  • liver transplantation;
  • ribavirin;
  • telaprevir

Abstract

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the leading causes of end-stage liver disease and the main indication for liver transplantation (LT) in most countries. All patients who undergo LT with detectable serum HCV RNA experience graft reinfection. Between 20 and 30% of patients develop cirrhosis within 5 years post-LT. The outcome of transplant patients with cirrhosis on the graft is severe, with a rate of decompensation at 1 year of around 40%. To date, retransplantation is the only option for patients who develop decompensation. Until 2011, standard antiviral therapy, using pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin (RBV), was the only effective therapy. Obtaining a sustained virological response (SVR) in the setting of LT greatly improves overall and graft survival, but this only concerns 30% of transplanted patients. Direct-acting antivirals (DAA) such as protease inhibitors, polymerase or other non-structural proteins inhibitors represent a new era in HCV-associated liver disease. Although their use in the field of liver transplantation seems to be essential, there are some limitations due to safety and tolerance. One limitation is the potential interaction with calcineurin inhibitors. We describe the preliminary results of triple therapy with boceprevir or telaprevir in terms of efficacy and safety in liver transplant recipients.