Hepatitis C recurrence is not adversely affected by the use of donation after cardiac death liver allografts

Ran Tao, Kristine Ruppert, Ruy J. Cruz, Shahid M. Malik, Obaid Shaikh, Jawad Ahmad, Andrea Dimartini, Abhinav Humar, Paulo A. Fontes, Michael E. De Vera

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31 Scopus citations


Many factors can worsen a recurrent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection after liver transplantation (LT). We sought to determine whether the use of donation after cardiac death (DCD) livers affects HCV recurrence. From January 2000 to June 2008, 37 HCV patients underwent LT with DCD allografts. The outcomes and severity of HCV recurrence were analyzed along with those for 74 matched control patients with HCV who received donation after brain death (DBD) livers. The 2 groups had similar donor and recipient characteristics, immunosuppression regimens, rates of acute cellular rejection (ACR), and HCV profiles. DCD patients had a higher incidence of primary nonfunction (19% versus 3%, P = 0.006) and significantly higher peak aspartate aminotransferase levels in comparison with DBD subjects, suggesting a greater degree of ischemia/reperfusion injury. Although the survival rates were not significantly different, DCD recipients had lower 1- and 5-year patient survival rates (83% and 69% versus 84% and 78%, respectively, P = 0.75) and graft survival rates (70% and 61% versus 82% and 74%, respectively, P = 0.24). Three hundred fourteen protocol and clinically indicated liver biopsy procedures were performed within 6 years after transplantation, and mixed modeling analysis showed that fibrosis progression rates were similar for the 2 groups (0.6 fibrosis units/year according to the Ishak modified staging system). The rates of severe HCV recurrence (retransplantation or death due to recurrent hepatitis C and/or the development of stage 4/6 fibrosis or worse within 2 years) were similar [3 DCD patients (8%) versus 11 DBD patients (15%), P = 0.38], and cytomegalovirus infection (hazard ratio = 7.9, P = 0.002, 95% confidence interval = 2.1-28.9) and ACR (hazard ratio = 6.2, P = 0.002, 95% confidence interval = 2.0-19.7) were the only independent risk factors for severe recurrence. In summary, although there was a trend of poorer overall outcomes in DCD patients, the use of DCD livers did not appear to adversely affect HCV recurrence after LT.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1288-1295
Number of pages8
JournalLiver Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2010
Externally publishedYes


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