Int J Med Sci 2006; 3(2):79-83. doi:10.7150/ijms.3.79 This issue
Adult Liver Transplantation, Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute, Division of Liver Diseases, Department of Medicine, The Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York, NY, USA
A major challenge facing liver transplant recipients and their physicians is recurrence of hepatitis C virus infection following otherwise technically successful liver transplantation. Recurrent infection leads to diminished graft and patient survival. Although a number or predictors of severe recurrence have been identified, no definitive strategy has been developed to prevent recurrence. Generally the tempo of hepatitis C recurrence is gauged by serial liver biopsies with the decision to intervene with antiviral therapy based on local philosophy and expertise. Treating hepatitis C in this population has a number of major challenges including diminished patient tolerance for side-effects as well as managing the patient's immunesuppression. However sustained viral responses are possible with the potential to reduce the impact of recurrent hepatitis on the graft. However recurrent hepatitis C virus infection will remain the most frequent form of recurrent disease in liver transplant programs for the foreseeable future.
Keywords: recurrent hepatitis C, liver transplantation, antiviral therapy