Scientific publications

Liver transplantation in hepatitis C. A Spanish multi-centre experience

Sep 1, 1998 | Magazine: European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Prieto M, Berenguer M, Rimola A, Loinaz C, Barrios C, Clemente G, Figueras J, Vargas V, Casafont F, Pons JA, Herrero JI.
Hospital Universitario La Fe, Valencia, Spain

The purpose of this retrospective survey was to determine the prevalence and outcome of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in cirrhotic patients undergoing liver transplantation (OLT) in Spain in 1992.

Post-OLT HCV infection was defined by anti-HCV (second-generation ELISA) and/or PCR. Patients were divided into groups A (HCV-positive pre-OLT: n = 124, 46%) and B (HCV-negative pre-OLT: n = 145, 54%).

HCV infection was more prevalent in patients originally diagnosed as having non-A non-B cirrhosis (97%) and cryptogenic cirrhosis (79%) than in patients with cholestatic or metabolic diseases. Group A patients were older (53.3+/-7.9 versus 47.6+/-9.7; P< 0.05) and had a higher prevalence of hepatocellular carcinoma (22% versus 4%, P< 0.05). Post-OLT HCV infection was 99% in group A versus 4% in group B (P< 0.05). Histological hepatitis developed in 39% (66% in group A versus 14% in group B, P< 0.05) with similar follow-up. Chronic rejection occurred in 6% (3% in group A versus 8.5% in group B, P= 0.07). Retransplantation rate (overall 8%) and two-year patient survival did not differ between groups (79% versus 72%). Graft survival was higher in group A (74% versus 65% at 2 years, P= 0.04).

HCV-cirrhosis represented the most frequent indication for OLT in Spain in 1992. While HCV recurrence was universal, de novo acquisition was rare. HCV accounted for most post-OLT hepatitis (87%), but was not associated with chronic rejection, nor with a higher retransplantation rate. Patient survival was not different in HCV patients compared to a control group after a follow-up of 2-3 years. Therefore, at present, HCV-cirrhosis is an acceptable indication for OLT.

CITATION Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1998 Sep;10(9):771-6

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