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Transplantation. 2000 May 15;69(9):1956-8.

Successful rescue of severe recurrent hepatitis C with interferon and ribavirin in a liver transplant patient.

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  • 1Department of Surgery I, Faculty of Medicine, Kobe University, Japan.



Rapid graft dysfunction caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV) reinfection, although uncommon, is a disastrous complication in liver transplant patients. Finding an effective therapy for this subgroup of patients with severe recurrent HCV is a priority.


We describe a successful rescue of a 46-year-old man with recurrent hepatitis C (HCV genotype 1b) using long-term interferon (IFN) and ribavirin. The patient had a very aggressive type of posttransplantation HCV infection, as judged by biochemical and histologic findings.


Despite high pretreatment values of serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT; peak value of 901 IU/L) and HCV-RNA (2.3 x 10(6) copies/ml), the combination therapy with IFN and ribavirin produced a rapid normalization of the serum ALT values, accompanied by the clearance of serum HCV-RNA. Although HCV-RNA reappeared in the serum at 3 months, the patient had continued ALT normalization and histological improvement with follow-up of over 26 months to date after the initiation of the combination therapy.


This observation suggests that IFN in combination with ribavirin may offer an effective therapeutic option for liver transplant patients with severe recurrent hepatitis C.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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