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Transplant Proc. 2005 Jul-Aug;37(6):2569-70.

Use of hepatitis C virus-positive grafts in liver transplantation: a single-centre experience.

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Centro Trapianti di Fegato-Azienda Ospedaliera San Giovanni Battista di Torino, Turin, Italy.



Our goal was to evaluate the outcome of HCV(+) recipients after liver transplantation (LT) using HCV(+) donors and the interaction between donor and recipient viral strain.


We performed a retrospective analysis of 21 LT performed between 1998 and 2004 using livers from HCV(+) donors in HCV(+) recipients. Two hundred thirty-seven patients with HCV cirrhosis who underwent LT with livers from HCV(-) donors were the control group. Ishak score (IS) was evaluated for all HCV(+) grafts. The considered variables included donor age, hepatic enzymes, intensive care unit stay, HCV genotype, ischemia time, recipient age, UNOS status, Child score, HCV genotype (before and 6 months after LT) and IS (after LT). We analyzed patient, graft, and disease-free survival.


HCV(+) donors were significantly older than HCV(-) donors. The cumulative 5-year patient and graft survivals and disease free intervals were not different between groups. IS grading was more than 2/18 in two cases; the only graft with a staging score over 2/6 was retransplanted for early nonfunction. In two cases, different HCV genotypes were matched and donor strain took over the recipient strain. In one patient, donor genotyping 2a-2c took over recipient genotyping 1b and 9 months after LT recurrent hepatitis was documented, but antiviral therapy cleared HCV.


Livers from HCV(+) donors can safely be used in HCV(+) recipients. Hepatic biopsy must always be performed; livers with bridging fibrosis should not be used. The takeover of one strain by another may change the prognosis of the patient if the predominant strain is more sensitive to antiviral therapy.

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