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J Hepatol. 2007 Mar;46(3):459-65. Epub 2006 Nov 27.

Sustained virological response to antiviral therapy reduces mortality in HCV reinfection after liver transplantation.

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Unità Operativa Complessa di Epatologia, Azienda Ospedaliera di Rilievo Nazionale A. Cardarelli, Napoli, Italy.



HCV infection recurs almost in all HCV-positive patients receiving liver transplantation and carries a poor prognosis. Aim of this study was to analyze efficacy and effect on survival of antiviral therapy in this clinical setting.


Pegylated-interferon alpha-2b and ribavirin were administered at a dose of 1 microg/kg of bwt weekly and 600-800 mg/day. Planned duration of treatment was 24 or 48 weeks according to HCV genotype. Patients who failed to respond at week 24 were considered as non-responders.


61 patients were enrolled. According to intention-to-treat analysis, 44 (72%) patients were considered as treatment failure (31 non-responders, 4 relapsers, 9 dropout). Sustained virological response was achieved in 17 cases (28%). Genotype 2, higher doses of antivirals and absence of histological cirrhosis were predictors of sustained virological response. In the follow up, patients with sustained virological response had a significantly lower mortality compared to patients with treatment failure (chi2=6.9; P<0.01).


Response rate to antiviral therapy in HCV reinfection after liver transplantation is higher if a full dose of antiviral drugs is administered and if treatment starts before histological cirrhosis has developed. Sustained virological response improves patient survival.

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