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J Hepatol. 2007 Dec;47(6):793-8. Epub 2007 Sep 24.

Influence of steroids on HCV recurrence after liver transplantation: A prospective study.

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Department of Surgery and Transplantation, University of Bologna, Italy.



To assess the effect of long-term maintenance of steroids on HCV recurrence after liver transplantation (LT), that is still controversial, a prospective multicentre trial was conducted at the centres of Bologna and Padua, Italy.


From September 2002, 47 eligible HCV positive LT recipients were randomized to receive 2 different steroid schedules in association with tacrolimus: group A: rapid tapering and withdrawal 91 days after LT group B: slow tapering and withdrawal 25 months after LT. Thirty-nine patients were assessable: 23 in group A and 16 in group B. Donor and recipient characteristics were similar in the two groups. Median follow-up was 841 days (130-1376). One hundred liver biopsies were performed, and every patient had a biopsy at month 12.


Twenty-two out of 23 (95, 65%) patients in group A and 15 out of 16 (93, 75%) in group B had histologically-confirmed HCV recurrence. Twelve-month histology showed advanced fibrosis (score 3 or 4) in 42.1% of the patients in group A versus 7.6% in group B (P=0.03). One-and 2-year advanced fibrosis-free survival were 65.2 and 60.8 in group A and 93.7% in group B (P=0.03 and =0.02, respectively).


Slow tapering of steroids reduced the progression of recurrent hepatitis C after LT.

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