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Dig Liver Dis. 2012 Jul;44(7):603-9. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2012.01.017. Epub 2012 Mar 15.

Antiviral therapy and fibrosis progression in patients with mild-moderate hepatitis C recurrence after liver transplantation. A randomized controlled study.

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Department of Hepatology and Liver Unit, Niguarda Hospital, Milan, Italy.



We evaluated the effect of antiviral therapy on fibrosis progression in patients with histological features of mild/moderate HCV disease recurrence defined by a Grading score≥4 and Staging score up to 3 (Ishak) at 1 year after liver transplantation.


Seventy-three consecutive patients with mild/moderate recurrence were randomized either to no treatment or to receive Pegilated-Interferon-alfa-2b and ribavirin for 52 weeks. Liver biopsies obtained at baseline (1 year after transplantation) and 2 years afterwards were evaluated for assessment of disease progression, defined as worsening of at least 2 staging points or progression to stage 4 or higher.


As for these two major histological end points there were no statistically significant differences between the 2 groups (36.1% vs. 50%, p=0.34 and 36.1% vs. 38.9%, p=1). Fifteen treated patients (41%) achieved a sustained virological response which was associated with a reduced risk of fibrosis worsening for both endpoints when compared to viremic patients (p=0.04).


Although antiviral-therapy was beneficial in preventing fibrosis progression in patients achieving a sustained virological response, the majority of the overall population of our patients with mild-moderate disease recurrence could not benefit from antiviral therapy either because they either could not be treated or did not respond to treatment (EudraCT number: 2005-005760).

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