Home > Journals > Minerva Gastroenterology > Past Issues > Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2017 March;63(1) > Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2017 March;63(1):55-61



Publishing options
To subscribe
Submit an article
Recommend to your librarian


Publication history
Cite this article as



Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2017 March;63(1):55-61

DOI: 10.23736/S1121-421X.16.02347-3


language: English

Liver transplantation from HCV RNA-positive donors in the era of interferon-free HCV therapeutics: a re-examination of the situation

Katharina WILLUWEIT 1, 2, Ali CANBAY 1, Guido GERKEN 1, Jörg TIMM 3, Andreas PAUL 2, Jürgen TRECKMANN 2, Kerstin HERZER 1, 2

1 Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Duisburg-Essen, University Hospital Essen, Essen, Germany; 2 Department of General- Visceral- and Transplantation Surgery, University of Duisburg-Essen, University Hospital Essen, Essen, Germany; 3 Institute for Virology, Heinrich Heine University, University Hospital Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany


Although the availability of donor organs is limited, liver grafts from HCV-positive donors remained yet an obstacle, primarily because of limited therapeutic options for HCV reinfection and lower rates of graft and patient survival. However, new interferon-free regimens containing direct-acting antiviral agents have fewer adverse effects and better effectiveness, making HCV treatment feasible early after transplant. In 2014, we successfully used sofosbuvir and ribavirin to treat a patient with HCV genotype 3 cirrhosis who was listed for liver transplantation. Because the patient’s hepatocellular carcinoma score was outside the Milan criteria, an allograft from a donor with HCV genotype 3 was accepted as rescue treatment. Patient characteristics, laboratory results, and the course of disease and treatment were documented from March 2014 to May 2015. HCV reinfection was successfully treated with sofosbuvir and ribavirin early after transplant, with no adverse effects. Viral load was below detectable levels 4 weeks after start of treatment. Liver values returned to normal, and the FibroScan score improved. Sustained virologic response was documented 12 weeks after treatment. With interferon-free regimens for HCV infection, expanding the donor pool by including HCV-positive organs is an interesting option that could substantially decrease waiting times and mortality rates for patients listed for transplant. This review comprehends and discusses available data, challenges and chances for using HCV-positive donor organs in the advent of new HCV therapeutic options.

KEY WORDS: Hepacivirus - Liver transplantation - Sofosbuvir

top of page