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Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2004 March;50(1):51-60

Copyright © 2004 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Natural history of hepatitis C and outcomes following liver transplantation

Rodriguez-Luna H., Vargas H. E.


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Chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is common and affects a significant proportion of the population. Chronic HCV-related cirrhosis is the most common indication for liver transplantation (LT) in Australia, the United States (US), and most European countries. Unfortunately, the post-transplant recurrence of HCV is almost a universal phenomenon with approximately 6% to 23% of transplant recipients progressing to cirrhosis at a median of 3 to 4 years post-LT with a cumulative probability of developing graft cirrhosis estimated to reach 30% at 5 years. The 1-year and 3-year actuarial risk of decompensation has been estimated at 42% and 62%, respectively. Similarly, the rate of progression from hepatic decompensation to death is accelerated after LT with a 3-year survival rate of less than 10% in decompensated HCV liver recipients. Ten percent to 25% of the patients with recurrent disease will require re-transplantation within 5 years. Because of the increasing number of patients transplanted for chronic HCV infection and the complexity of factors affecting this population we will present an up-to-date review concerning LT in the setting of HCV infection and cirrhosis with the goal of outlining the natural history, recurrence of infection, risk factors associated with severity of recurrence, treatment strategies for recurrent HCV infection, role of re-transplantation, and de-novo hepatocellular carcinoma.

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