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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2008 Aug;20(8):778-83. doi: 10.1097/MEG.0b013e3282f762f8.

Antiviral therapy for recurrent hepatitis C after liver transplantation: sustained virologic response is related to genotype 2/3 and response at week 12.

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Medical Department II, Klinikum Grosshadern, Max von Pettenkofer-Institute, Ludwig-Maximillians-University of Munich, Munich, Germany.



Recurrent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection after liver transplantation (LT) is a major cause of transplant failure in HCV-positive patients. We retrospectively assessed the efficacy and safety of antiviral therapy and determined the factors influencing sustained virologic response (SVR) in LT recipients.


Between 1998 and 2007, we treated 36 LT recipients for hepatitis C cirrhosis and subsequent HCV recurrence (27 genotype 1 and 9 genotypes 2/3) with pegylated interferon alpha-2a (180 microg/week), pegylated interferon alpha-2b (1.5 microg/kg per week), or standard interferon alpha-2b (3 MIU 3X/week) plus ribavirin (600-1200 mg/day) for 48 weeks.


SVR was achieved in seven of 27 (26%) of genotype 1 patients versus nine of nine (100%) genotype 2/3 patients (P=0.0001). Early virologic response at week 12 was associated with permanent viral clearance. Side effects included cytopenia and acute hearing loss, but rate of therapy withdrawal and dose reduction was low.


Combination therapy in patients with HCV reinfection after LT yields an excellent SVR rate in genotype 2/3 patients, but remains unsatisfactory in genotype 1 patients. Virologic response at week 12 (early virologic response) can determine whether therapy should be continued or not.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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