JOURNAL ARTICLE
MULTICENTER STUDY

Safety and efficacy of protease inhibitors to treat hepatitis C after liver transplantation: a multicenter experience

Audrey Coilly, Bruno Roche, Jérôme Dumortier, Vincent Leroy, Danielle Botta-Fridlund, Sylvie Radenne, Georges-Philippe Pageaux, Si-Nafaa Si-Ahmed, Olivier Guillaud, Teresa Maria Antonini, Stéphanie Haïm-Boukobza, Anne-Marie Roque-Afonso, Didier Samuel, Jean-Charles Duclos-Vallée
Journal of Hepatology 2014, 60 (1): 78-86
23994384

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Protease inhibitors (PI) with peginterferon/ribavirin have significantly improved SVR rates in HCV G1 patients. Their use to treat HCV recurrence after liver transplantation (LT) is a challenge.

METHODS: This cohort study included 37 liver transplant recipients (male, 92%, age 57 ± 11 years), treated with boceprevir (n=18) or telaprevir (n=19). The indication for therapy was HCV recurrence (fibrosis stage ≥F2 (n=31, 83%) or fibrosing cholestatic hepatitis (n=6, 16%).

RESULTS: Eighteen patients were treatment-naive, five were relapsers and fourteen were non-responders to dual therapy after LT. Twenty-two patients received cyclosporine and fifteen tacrolimus. After 12 weeks of PI therapy, a complete virological response was obtained in 89% of patients treated with boceprevir, and 58% with telaprevir (p=0.06). The end of treatment virological response rate was 72% (13/18) in the boceprevir group and 40% (4/10) in the telaprevir group (p=0.125). A sustained virological response 12 weeks after treatment discontinuation was observed in 20% (1/5) and 71% (5/7) of patients in the telaprevir and boceprevir groups, respectively (p=0.24). Treatment was discontinued in sixteen patients (treatment failures (n=11), adverse events (n=5)). Infections occurred in ten patients (27%), with three fatal outcomes (8%). The most common adverse effect was anemia (n=34, 92%), treated with erythropoietin and/or a ribavirin dose reduction; thirteen patients (35%) received red blood cell transfusions. The cyclosporine dose was reduced by 1.8 ± 1.1-fold and 3.4 ± 1.0-fold with boceprevir and telaprevir, respectively. The tacrolimus dose was reduced by 5.2 ± 1.5-fold with boceprevir and 23.8±18.2-fold with telaprevir.

CONCLUSIONS: Our results suggest that triple therapy is effective in LT recipients, particularly those experiencing a severe recurrence. The occurrence of anemia and drug-drug interactions, and the risk of infections require close monitoring.

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