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J Heart Lung Transplant. 2007 May;26(5):466-71. Epub 2007 Mar 26.

Outcomes after lung transplantation in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection.

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Department of Pulmonary, Allergy and Critical Care Medicine, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.



Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infects 4 million people in the USA, with a prevalence of 1.4%. The seropositivity rate among potential lung transplant candidates is 1.9%, yet little information is available regarding outcomes of lung transplantation in HCV-positive lung transplant recipients. Our study reports outcomes of lung transplantation in HCV-positive recipients and compares them to HCV-negative controls.


A retrospective analysis of the Cleveland Clinic Foundation's lung transplant database (465 patients) identified six HCV-positive patients. Demographic data, etiology of HCV infection, HCV viral load pre- and post-transplant, pre-transplant hepatic pathology, serial transaminases, incidence of acute hepatitis, graft function data and patient survival data were obtained by chart extraction.


Five HCV-positive recipients had a pre-transplant liver biopsy, none of whom had evidence of cirrhosis pre-transplant. Although HCV RNA levels markedly increased post-transplant, no concomitant increase in transaminases was noted. There was no significant difference in the incidence of acute rejection at 1 year in our HCV-positive cohort compared with the HCV-negative lung transplant recipients from our institution. One patient developed bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS) during the follow-up period. Two patient deaths occurred, one at 8 months and the other at 2 years post-transplant. No evidence of hepatic dysfunction was noted in either deceased patient. The four surviving patients are alive at a median 3.2 years (range 1 to 6 years).


No significant difference in patient or graft survival was noted between the HCV-positive lung transplant recipients and the HCV-negative recipients.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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