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Transplantation. 2000 Nov 27;70(10):1454-8.

The influence of cytomegalovirus viraemia on the outcome of recurrent hepatitis C after liver transplantation.

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Department of Histopathology, Royal Free Hospital, London, UK.



Several interrelated host and hepatitis C virus (HCV) associated factors have been proposed to explain the variable outcomes in HCV recurrence. Recent evidence suggests that cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection not only is co-factor in progression of HCV recurrence but may precipitate allograft rejection. We investigated whether short-term CMV viremia influences HCV recurrence, the number and grade of acute rejection episodes, and the histological course of HCV recurrence during the first year after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) for HCV-related cirrhosis.


A cohort of 39 patients transplanted for cirrhosis HCV-related was analyzed. Patients were evaluated twice weekly for CMV infection by a blood polymerase chain reaction (PCR) assay. Triple therapy with cyclosporine or tacrolimus, azathioprine and prednisolone was the initial immunosuppressive regimen. Preemptive treatment with ganciclovir was started when two consecutive PCRs for CMV were positive. Liver biopsies were performed on day 7 after OLT or when indicated. A 3-day IV 1 g methilprednisolone was given to patients with moderate or severe rejection. Ishak's score was used to grade inflammation and to stage fibrosis.


Neither CMV viremia nor CMV disease after OLT for HCV-related cirrhosis adversely influenced the incidence and grade of acute rejection episodes nor the histological outcome of post transplant HCV recurrence, during the first year after liver transplantation.


CMV viremia as detected by PCR does not affect the progression of HCV recurrence in liver grafts.

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