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Impact of Antiviral Treatment on Survival in HCV-Positive Liver Recipients

Marta Wawrzynowicz-Syczewska, Samir Zeair, Anna Andruszkiewicz, Klaudia Bartoszewicz, Jarosław Sławiński, Łukasz Laurans, Krzysztof Jurczyk, Ewa Karpińska, Łukasz Socha, Marta Duczkowska, Miłosz Parczewski

Department of Infectious Diseases, Hepatology and Liver Transplantation, Pomeranian Medical University, Szczecin, Poland

Ann Transplant 2014; 19:367-372

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.890612

Available online:

Published: 2014-07-30

Background: Sequels of chronic HCV infection are currently one of the most common indications for liver transplantation (LTx). Because HCV reinfection and allograft injury are inevitable, it may influence survival. Earlier studies have not reported higher mortality among HCV-infected patients, but cumulative data seem to contradict these findings.
The aim of the study was to analyze post-LTx survival in HCV-positive patients in comparison with non-HCV-positive recipients and impact of antiviral treatment on survival in patients with recurrent HCV hepatitis.
Material and Methods: Using data from the Polish national transplant registry, a retrospective cohort study of 327 patients who underwent LTx between 2000 and 2012 was performed. Cumulative 5-year mortality for HCV-positive patients vs. HCV-negative recipients and HCV-positive recipients treated with pegylated interferon/ribavirin vs. non-treated subjects was calculated using Kaplan-Meyer methodology. Mortality hazard rates were estimated using univariate proportional Cox models.
Results: Liver transplantation in HCV-positive vs. HCV-negative recipients was associated with significantly lower survival rate (cumulative 5-year survival 89.8 vs. 80.26%, respectively, p=0.04276) with a 5-year mortality HR of 1.99. Antiviral treatment improved survival irrespective of virological response (84.06% treated vs. 51.22% non-treated, p=0.00003). Univariate Cox HR for HCV treated vs. untreated patients is 0.18. Further improvement of survival was significantly associated with sustained virological response (100% vs. 77.67%, p=0.042).
Conclusions: Our study confirms higher mortality risk among HCV-infected transplant recipients, improved survival related to the HCV treatment following graft reinfection, and positive association between the HCV treatment success and better survival.

Keywords: Survival, Hepatitis C, Chronic, reinfection, Liver Transplantation