Fatal liver disease despite sustained eradication of recurrent hepatitis C virus requiring liver retransplantation

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Liver retransplantation for recurrent hepatitis C is usually not recommended for patients with early, severe disease. As it is difficult to predict which patients are at risk, interferon-based therapies are often used after histological confirmation of recurrent disease. Unfortunately, this treatment is poorly tolerated, costly and often unsuccessful. Three patients are described who developed decompensated cirrhosis requiring retransplantation despite sustained viral eradication. With the exception of one patient who developed post transplant nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, no etiology was identified in the others. All were retransplanted and remain hepatitis C negative at a mean follow-up of 25.6 months. Despite a lack of alternatives, the reflexive urge to use interferon-based therapy for recurrent hepatitis C in an attempt to prevent retransplantation at all costs should be resisted, particularly as recent studies suggest onset of recurrent disease after initial transplant does not predict onset of recurrence following retransplantation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)286-288
Number of pages3
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jul 1 2006


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Transplantation

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