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Transplantation. 2004 Nov 27;78(10):1488-95.

Double-blind comparison of hepatitis C histological recurrence Rate in HCV+ Liver transplant recipients given basiliximab + steroids or basiliximab + placebo, in addition to cyclosporine and azathioprine.

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  • 1Liver Transplantation Unit, University of Pisa, Hospital of Cisanello, Via Paradisa 2, 56100 Pisa, Italy. f.filipponi@med.unipi.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) recurrence in HCV+ liver transplant recipients is almost inevitable and may be promoted by immunosuppression. We compared the amount of liver damage with regard to usage of steroids and basiliximab.

METHODS:

A total of 140 HCV+ adult liver transplant recipients were randomly allocated to basiliximab + steroids or basiliximab + placebo (plus cyclosporine and azathioprine). Primary endpoint: hepatitis C histological recurrence (liver damage as for Ishak grading score >or=8 by biopsy at 12 months); secondary endpoints: treatment failure (death, graft loss, patient withdrawal), biopsy proven acute rejection (BPAR), treated acute rejection (tAR), allograft and patient survival rates at 12 months.

RESULTS:

Any significant difference has been observed in the 12-month hepatitis C histological recurrence rate (41.2% basiliximab + steroids, 37.5% basiliximab + placebo, P = 0.354). The treatment failure rate was significantly higher in basiliximab + steroids (28.8%) than in basiliximab + placebo (15.6%), P = 0.03; the combination test for the evaluation of the joint hypothesis resulted in a borderline nonsignificant overall result (P = 0.059). BPAR rate was significantly lower in the group treated with steroids (24.3% basiliximab + steroids, 39.4% basiliximab + placebo, P = 0.04), while the tAR rate was similar (29.7% basiliximab + steroids and 37.9% basiliximab + placebo). Any significant differences in 1-year graft and patient survival rates have been observed (72.9% and 84.8% basiliximab+steroids; 81.5% and 89.0% basiliximab + placebo).

CONCLUSIONS:

Results suggest that steroid-free therapy is associated with a significantly lower treatment failure rate, although histological recurrence rate of hepatitis C is similar in the two groups. This benefit is not offset by an evident increase in graft rejection rate requiring treatment.

PMID:
15599313
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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