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Orv Hetil. 2007 Oct 7;148(40):1875-81.

[Treatment of recurrent hepatitis C virus infection after liver transplantation].

[Article in Hungarian]

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Semmelweis Egyetem, Altalános Orvostudományi Kar II. Belgyógyászati Klinika Budapest.


The main indication of liver transplantation is the final stage of liver cirrhosis developed in hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. The recurrence of HCV infection after transplantation is a common situation. The recurrent hepatitis C is a progressive disease, in 20 percent of patients it produces liver cirrhosis without treatment beside immunosuppression within 5 years. The treatment of recurrent HCV infection is the most important factor of the survival in patients with transplantation. The authors review the factors influencing the progression of recurrent HCV infection on the basis of literary data and also on their observation. They discuss in details the effect of immunosuppressive treatment, the importance in the selection of corresponding immunosuppressive drugs. They review the main keypoints in the diagnosis of recurrent hepatitis C, underline the important role of liver biopsy carried out according to the protocol in the diagnosis, furthermore the hard consultation among pathologist, hepatologist and surgeon. They demonstrate the observations with the treatment of patients on the waiting list, the results in the early, preemptive treatment of recurrent chronic hepatitis, furthermore the treatment modalities and the results in patients with chronic hepatitis C histologically proved. The drug of choice of chronic hepatitis C after transplantation is the combined therapy with pegylated interferon and ribavirin. This therapy is able to assure virus-free stage in 20-50 percent of patients. In the virus-free patients the inflammatory activity in the liver significantly decreases, the histologic activity index improves. There are data showing the effect of treatment for inhibiting the fibrosis, but multicenter studies are necessary for the confirmation of these data. The advantage of early antiviral therapy without histologic alteration has not been confirmed by most of the trials. The anaemia and the neutropenia are frequent side effects in this patient group, that is why the applications of erythropoietin and granulocyte stimulating factor are recommended. Further trials and clinical studies are necessary for the optimal treatment of patients with recurrent hepatitis C, and to determine the dosage of pegylated interferon and ribavirin, to decrease the duration of therapy and the side effects, finally to achieve a healing phase of higher degree.

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