Survival and hepatitis C virus recurrence after liver transplantation in HIV- and hepatitis C virus-coinfected patients: experience in a single center

M Testillano, J R Fernandez, M J Suarez, M Gastaca, J Bustamante, J I Pijoan, M Montejo, A Valdivieso, P Ruiz, J Gonzalez, J Ortiz de Urbina
Transplantation Proceedings 2009, 41 (3): 1041-3

INTRODUCTION: Posttransplant hepatitis C virus (HCV) recurrence has been shown to negatively impact graft and patient survivals. It has been suggested that HCV recurrence among HIV- and HCV-coinfected transplant recipients is even more aggressive.

OBJECTIVE: To compare the histological severity and survival of posttransplant HCV recurrence between HIV- and HCV-coinfected and HCV-monoinfected patients.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: Among 72 adult patients who underwent primary liver transplantation at our institution for HCV-related cirrhosis between October 2001 and April 2007. We excluded one coinfected patient who died on postoperative day 5 leaving 12 HIV- and HCV-coinfected patients for comparison with 59 monoinfected patients. When listed, all coinfected patients fulfilled the criteria of the Spanish Consensus Document for transplantation in HIV patients. Immunosuppression did not differ between the two groups: all were treated with tacrolimus + steroids (slow tapering). Aggressive HCV recurrence was defined as cholestatic hepatitis and/or a fibrosis grade > or =2 during the first posttransplant year.

RESULTS: Coinfected patients were younger than monoinfected patients: 45 +/- 6 years vs 55 +/- 9 years (P = .0008). There were no differences in Child score, Model for End-stage Liver Disease score, donor age, graft steatosis, ischemia time, HCV pretransplant viral load or genotype between the groups. Significant rejection episodes were also equally distributed (25% vs 14%; P = .38). Seven coinfected patients and 29 monoinfected patients developed aggressive HCV recurrences (58% vs 49%; P = .75). Median follow-up was 924 days. Global survival at 3 years was 80%. Survivals at 1, 2, and 3 years were 83%, 75%, 62% in the coinfected vs 98%, 89%, 84% in the monoinfected patients, respectively (log-rank test = 0.09).

CONCLUSIONS: The severity of histological recurrence was similar among HIV- and HCV-coinfected and monoinfected HCV liver recipients in the first posttransplant year. Mortality attributed to recurrent HCV was similar in the groups. There were no short-term (3-year) differences in survival between the two groups of patients.

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