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Gastroenterology. 1999 Jul;117(1):149-53.

Outcome of liver transplantation in hepatitis C virus-infected patients who received hepatitis C virus-infected grafts.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, T. E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA.



The present organ shortage has brought into question the suitability of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive grafts. This study reviewed the outcome of such transplantations in our institution.


Twenty-three HCV-positive patients who underwent orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) for end-stage liver disease with HCV-positive grafts in 1992-1995 were studied. Only patients who survived more than 30 days were included in the analysis. Control group included 169 patients who underwent transplantation for HCV-related cirrhosis and received HCV-negative organs.


Patients who received HCV-infected organs had a cumulative survival rate of 89% and 72% at 1 and 5 years, respectively, vs. 88% and 73% for the control group (NS). There was no difference in graft survival, incidence of cirrhosis, mean hepatitis activity index score, fibrosis, or mean activity of serum transaminases. There was a trend toward lower incidence of recurrent hepatitis C in the study group compared with control (21% vs. 23% at 1 year and 47% vs. 64% at 5 years; NS). Patients in whom the donor strain became predominant after transplantation had significantly longer disease-free survival than patients who retained their own HCV strain (P < 0.003).


HCV-infected livers transplanted into HCV-infected recipients do not appear to convey a worse outcome in the initial years after OLT than HCV-negative grafts.

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