Background: This study examines the impact of donor liver macrovesicular steatosis on recurrence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) disease after liver transplantation. Methods: Between 1998 and 2004, 113 patients underwent liver transplantation for HCV-related cirrhosis. Time to histologic recurrence (fibrosis score ≥2) was the primary endpoint of the study. Recurrence was graded according to the system of Ludwig and Batts. A Cox's proportional hazard regression model was used to analyse the association between donor liver steatosis and HCV recurrence. Results: Recurrence-free survival for patients who received steatotic grafts was 82% and 47% at 1 and 4 years, respectively, and 81% and 52% for patients who received a non-steatotic liver. Donor macrovesicular steatosis (5-45%) was found to have no impact on HCV recurrence (P=0.47). Donor age (P=0.02) and cold ischaemia time (P=0.01) were found to increase the relative risk of HCV recurrence. The estimated risk of HCV recurrence increased by 23% for every 10-year increase in donor age. Similarly the risk of recurrence increased by 13% for every 1-h increase in cold ischaemia time. Conclusion: Mild-moderate donor liver macrovesicular steatosis has no impact on HCV recurrence after liver transplantation for HCV-related cirrhosis. Cold ischaemia time and donor age increased the likelihood of HCV recurrence.
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