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Transplantation. 2001 Jan 27;71(2):267-71.

Kidney transplantation for end-stage renal failure in liver transplant recipients with hepatitis C viral infection.

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  • 1Thomas E Starzl Transplantation Institute and the Division of Transplantation Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.



End-stage renal failure after successful liver transplantation (LTx) has been described in up to 5% of patients. Kidney transplantation (KTx) has been the treatment of choice in these cases. However, in recipients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV), the augmentation of immunosuppression after KTx may result in an increased viral load. This, in turn, may adversely affect the liver allograft.


The present study retrospectively examined the outcome in 17 patients (3 females and 14 males, mean age 51.1+/-11.3 years) who received KTx after LTx. The mean interval from LTx to KTx was 57.6+/-32.1 months. The mean follow-up was 41.7+/-20.5 months after KTx, and 99.6+/-37.7 months after LTx. Sixteen of the 17 patients received tacrolimus-based immunosuppression at the time of KTx.


During the follow-up period, one patient underwent combined liver and kidney retransplantation 3.7 years after KTx and 12.7 years after LTx. She subsequently died secondary to primary nonfunction. Four other patients died, two of lung cancer, one of pancreatitis/sepsis, and one of severe depression leading to noncompliance. A total of 29 episodes of biopsy-proven acute renal allograft rejection (1.7 episodes/ patient) were encountered and treated with steroids. Seven patients experienced a rise in liver function tests during the period of increased steroid dosage. Four patients received no treatment, and their liver function returned to baseline. The remaining three were treated with interferon. Overall 1- and 3-year actuarial patient and liver allograft survival was 88% and 71% (after renal transplantation); corresponding 1- and 3-year actuarial graft survival was 88% and 61%. Twelve patients are alive with normal liver function. One patient is on dialysis, because of renal allograft loss to noncompliance.


In this series, LTx recipients with HCV infection were able to undergo KTx with a reasonable degree of success. KTx should be offered for end-stage renal failure after LTx, even in the presence of HCV infection, to individuals with stable liver function and no signs of liver failure.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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