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Indexed/Abstracted in: CAB, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Online ISSN 1827-1642
FOCUS ON HEPATITIS C VIRUS INFECTIONS
Neumann U. P., Neuhaus P.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) related liver cirrhosis is the most common indication for orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) in most transplant centers. However, recurrence of hepatitis C-infection after OLT in HCV positive patients is almost universal. Severity of graft hepatitis increases during the long term follow-up and up to 30% of patients develop severe graft hepatitis and cirrhosis. This led to decreased patient and graft survival in HCV positive patients. A number of variables like genotype, donor age, rejection treatment, cytomegalo-virus disease and liver retransplantation for HCV recurrence have shown to be associated with early and severe graft hepatitis. Prophy-lactic or therapeutic regimens which alter the course of disease in HCV positive patients are not established yet, and with longer follow-up the prevalence of HCV-related graft failure is likely to increase. New immunosuppressive regimens and anti-viral treatment with ribavarin in combination with pegylated interferon a have to be investigated to reduce the complications of HCV recurrence in the future.