• antiviral treatment;
  • cost-effectiveness analysis;
  • hepatitis C;
  • liver transplantation;
  • Markov model


Within 5–10 years, 20–40% of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected liver transplant recipients can be expected to develop cirrhosis. Here, cost-effectiveness of antiviral therapy was assessed. A Markov model was developed to simulate disease progression and calculate outcome and costs of treatment. In the baseline analysis, Peg-IFN/RBV treatment prevented organ loss/death, gained quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs) and undercut the limit of cost-effectiveness of €50 000/QALY with an incremental cost-effectiveness ratio of approximately €40 400/QALY and €21 000/QALY for HCV genotype 1 and 2/3 patients, respectively. Furthermore, sensitivity analysis testing modified model parameters according to extreme data described in the literature confirmed cost-effectiveness for a lower or higher rate of fibrosis progression, increased non-HCV-related mortality, lower limits of utilities, a time horizon of 30 years, and additional costs in the year of death. On the other hand, cost-effectiveness was lost for patients with genotype 1 in case of doubled antiviral or life-time costs or an increased discount rate of 7%. New treatment strategies for HCV genotype 1 infected patients remained on the same level cost-effective, if additional costs did not exceed €10 774 per 10% sustained virologic response gain. We conclude that Peg-IFN/RBV treatment is cost-effective post transplant. This may support treatment decision in individual cases.