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J Heart Lung Transplant. 1999 Jun;18(6):607-10.

Hepatitis C virus-related fibrosing cholestatic hepatitis after cardiac transplantation: is azathioprine a contributory factor?

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Heart Transplantation Unit, Hospital Doce de Octubre, Madrid, Spain.


We report a patient who acquired hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection at cardiac transplantation, developing fibrosing cholestatic hepatitis (FCH) with early liver failure and a fatal outcome. FCH is a recently described clinicopathological entity characterized by a cholestatic pattern of serum liver enzyme abnormalities, a progressive course leading to liver failure, and a pathological picture defined by periportal fibrosis, neutrophilic infiltrates and signs of histological cholestasis. Although it was initially described secondary to hepatitis B virus infection, it has also been recently related to HCV infection. Some histopathological features consistent with azathioprine hepatotoxicity like cholestasis, perisinusoidal fibrosis, veno-subocclusive lesions and nodular regenerative hyperplasia were also observed in this case. Therefore, a direct cytopathic effect of HCV and the concurrent pathogenic role of azathioprine hepatotoxicity may be involved in the development of this complication of transplantation.

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