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J Clin Transl Hepatol. 2014 Jun;2(2):124-33. doi: 10.14218/JCTH.2014.00002. Epub 2014 Jun 15.

Management of Hepatitis C Before and After Liver Transplantation in the Era of Rapidly Evolving Therapeutic Advances.

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Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, Rajavithi Hospital, College of Medicine, Rangsit University, Bangkok, Thailand.
Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA, USA.


Management of hepatitis C (HCV) in liver transplantation (LT) population presents unique challenges. Suboptimal graft survival in HCV+ LT recipients is attributable to universal HCV recurrence following LT. Although eradication of HCV prior to LT is ideal for the prevention of HCV recurrence it is often limited by adverse events, particularly in patients with advanced cirrhosis. Antiviral therapy in LT candidates needs careful monitoring, and prophylaxis with HCV antibodies is ineffective. Early antiviral therapy after LT has been investigated, but no clear benefit has been demonstrated. Protocol liver biopsy is generally recommended in HCV+ LT recipients, and antiviral therapy can be considered in those with severe/progressive HCV recurrence. Sustained virological response (SVR) can be achieved in approximately 30% of LT recipients with pegylated interferon/ribavirin (PEG-IFN/RBV) with survival benefit, but adverse effects are common. Favorable patient characteristics for response to therapy include non-1 genotype, previously untreated, low baseline HCV-RNA, and donor IL28B genotype CC. Direct acting antiviral (DAA)-based triple therapy is associated with higher rates of SVR, but with similar or slightly higher rates of side effects, and immunosuppressive regimens need to be closely monitored and adjusted during the treatment period. Notably, the safety and efficacy of HCV treatment are very likely to improve with newer generation DAA. The benefit of immunosuppressive strategy on the natural history HCV recurrence has not been well elucidated. Based upon available evidence, cyclosporine A (CSA), mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), and sirolimus appear to have a neutral or small beneficial impact on HCV recurrence. Donor interleukin 28 B (IL28B) polymorphisms appear to impact the course and treatment outcomes in recurrent HCV. Retransplantation should be considered for patients with reasonable survival probability.


Hepatitis C; Immunosuppression; Interferon; Liver transplantation; Prevention; Protease inhibitors; Treatment

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