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J Hepatol. 2010 Nov;53(5):962-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2010.06.006. Epub 2010 Jul 22.

Retransplantation in patients with hepatitis C recurrence after liver transplantation.

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  • 1Liver Unit, Institut de Malalties Digestives, Hospital Clínic, Institut d'Investigacions Biomèdiques August Pi i Sunyer, Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Hepáticas y Digestivas, Barcelona, Spain.


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection recurs universally after liver transplantation (LT) and fibrosis progression is accelerated in the graft. Retransplantation (RT) is the only therapeutic option to achieve long-term survival in patients with decompensated cirrhosis after LT. Patient and graft survival rates after RT are inferior to those after primary LT. It is generally accepted that severe hepatitis C recurrence (cholestatic hepatitis) and forms with rapid fibrosis progression have a poor survival after RT. However, it is not clear whether rapid fibrosis progression in the first graft will be followed by the same rate of fibrosis progression in the second graft. The use of prognostic scores as screening tools has shown an improvement in survival in HCV-infected patients after RT, reaching similar survival rates as those obtained in non HCV-infected patients. Moreover, these scores can identify candidates with a high risk of mortality in whom the use of a new organ would be unreasonable. Prevention of severe hepatitis C recurrence could be the first step to avoid RT. Thus, antiviral treatment on the waiting list (if possible) and early identification and treatment of patients with severe hepatitis C recurrence may be a good strategy to avoid RT. In addition, active management of factors which can accelerate fibrosis progression (donor age, post-transplant diabetes, high dose of corticosteroids) might reduce the incidence of severe forms of hepatitis C recurrence.

Copyright © 2010. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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