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Transplantation. 2001 Nov 27;72(10):1684-8.

Liver transplantation in adults coinfected with HIV.

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  • 1Institute of Liver Studies, King's College Hospital, Denmark Hill, London, SE5 9RS, United Kingdom.



To report our experience of prospectively identifying and transplanting livers into HIV-positive patients.


Liver transplantation in HIV-positive patients remains controversial. The finding of HIV is usually considered a contraindication to any form of transplantation. Previously reported cases are few and refer to patients who tested HIV positive after they had their liver transplantations or who seroconverted in the posttransplantation period. This is, to our knowledge, the only report of patients who were known to be HIV positive at the time of decision for listing for transplantation.


The medical records of five HIV-positive patients who received liver transplants in King's College Hospital, London, during a 5-year period (January 1995-December 1999) were reviewed. All five were known to be HIV positive at the time of listing for liver replacement. Three of them had end-stage liver disease due to hepatitis C (two of them had underlying Hemophilia A) while the other two had acute liver failure, one due to hepatitis B infection and one due to nonA-nonB-nonC hepatitis. In all but one patient the HIV infection had been asymptomatic.


All patients survived the immediate posttransplantation period, but the three patients with hepatitis C died of complications of recurrent hepatitis C between 6 and 25 months posttransplantation. The other two patients are currently alive 4 and 34 months posttransplantation with good graft function and without complications from their HIV infection.


The early outcome of liver transplantation in HIV seropositive patients can be good, and patients should not be excluded from transplantation if their liver disease determines their prognosis. More effective antiviral therapy for hepatitis C given posttransplantation, and for hepatitis B reinfection, should improve the longer-term outcome of HIV patients with end-stage liver disease due to hepatitis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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