Hepatitis C virus viral recurrence and liver mitochondrial damage after liver transplantation in HIV-HCV co-infected patients

Jean-Charles Duclos-Vallée, Daniel Vittecoq, Elina Teicher, Cyrille Feray, Anne-Marie Roque-Afonso, Anne Lombès, Claude Jardel, Michelle Gigou, Elisabeth Dussaix, Mylène Sebagh, Catherine Guettier, Daniel Azoulay, René Adam, Philippe Ichaï, Faouzi Saliba, Bruno Roche, Denis Castaing, Henri Bismuth, Didier Samuel
Journal of Hepatology 2005, 42 (3): 341-9

BACKGROUND/AIMS: As life expectancy in HIV-HCV co-infected patients improves, end stage liver disease requiring liver transplantation (LT) may become an emerging problem. We report the Paul Brousse Hospital experience of transplantation for end stage cirrhosis in HIV-HCV co-infected patients.

METHODS: Seven consecutive HIV-HCV co-infected patients were transplanted between December 1999 and December 2002 for end stage liver disease due to HCV. All patients were treated by highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), HIV plasma viral load was <400 copies/ml and median CD4 lymphocyte count was 306 cells/mm3 (range, 103-510) before LT. At the time of evaluation (March 2003), the median follow-up was 21 months (range, 4-40).

RESULTS: Two patients died, 4 and 22 months, respectively after LT. At the last biopsy, METAVIR score was staged F4 in two patients, F3 in two, and F1 in one. Microvesicular steatosis was noted in nearly all patients. The ratio of mitochondrial to nuclear DNA was low in three of four patients examined as compared with the amount of liver mtDNA found in eight HIV-negative, HCV-infected controls (P=0.01).

CONCLUSIONS: A significant defect in the activity of the respiratory chain complex IV was noted in all five patients studied. Mitochondrial hepatotoxicity and severe HCV recurrence occur in HIV-HCV co-infected patients after LT.

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