High sustained virological response to pegylated interferon and ribavirin for recurrent genotype 3 hepatitis C infection post-liver transplantation

Nabiha Faisal, Khalid Mumtaz, Max Marquez, Eberhard L Renner, Leslie B Lilly
Hepatology International 2015, 9 (1): 76-83

INTRODUCTION: Treatment outcomes of recurrent HCV genotype 3 (GT-3) after liver transplantation (LT) are ill-defined.

AIMS: To determine efficacy, predictors, and long-term survival after treatment of recurrent HCV GT-3 infection, post-LT, with a combination of pegylated interferon (PEG) and ribavirin (RBV).

METHODS: We studied all LT recipients (LTR) in our program treated with PEG and RBV for recurrent HCV GT-3 between Jan 1st 2002 and Dec 31st 2013. Antiviral therapy (AVT) was started if histology showed recurrent HCV with ≥ stage 2 fibrosis. Treatment was intended for 24 or 36 weeks, depending on early virologic response, and/or 24 weeks consolidation. Primary endpoint was sustained virological response (SVR). We also studied predictors of SVR and long-term patient survival.

RESULTS: Among 492 LT for HCV-related cirrhosis and/or hepatocellular carcinoma performed during the study period, 110 (22%) had HCV GT-3 infection. Fifty-two (10.5%) HCV GT-3 patients had indications for AVT. Six were unable to complete the AVT, three because of clinical decompensation and one each because of metastatic disease involving the brain, lung cancer, and ductopenic rejection. Forty-seven (90%) patients achieved early virological response (EVR) and 37 (71%) achieved SVR. Predictors of SVR were EVR (p < 0.001), stage ≤ 3 fibrosis (p = 0.008), and 36 weeks treatment duration (p < 0.001). Less advanced fibrosis ≤ 3 was independent predictor of SVR (OR 0.18, 95% CI 0.05-0.67). SVR patients had actuarial (Kaplan-Meier) 1, 3, and 10 year post-treatment survival of 100, 100, and 95%, compared with 87, 78, and 20% for non-SVR patients (p < 0.001, log rank test).

CONCLUSION: Efficacy of AVT for recurrent HCV GT-3 post-LT is high, and comparable with that for non-transplant patients. Less advanced fibrosis is an independent predictor of SVR. SVR improves long-term survival.

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