Incidence and treatment of recurrent hepatitis C after liver transplantation

P. Harren, D. LaPointe Rudow, L. W. Teperman, D. Dietrich, T. Diflo

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2 Scopus citations


Recurrence of hepatitis C is a significant problem after liver transplantation. This prospective study was done to assess the rate of recurrence and discuss two possible treatment modalities that have been successful in avoiding retransplantation. Twenty-one patients underwent orthotopic liver transplantation for hepatitis C at a metropolitan medical center over a 34-month period. The mean follow-up interval was 13.4 ± 2.2 months (range 5-28 months). The patients were routinely evaluated with clinic visits and liver function tests, specifically total bilirubin, serum glutamic-oxaloacetic transaminase, and gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase. If values were elevated, the patient was admitted to the hospital for liver biopsy. Ten of the 21 patients demonstrated recurrence on biopsy. Two of 10 patients recquired no therapy. Interferon A was initiated in the remaining eight. Three of the eight patients had no significant response to interferon and were given intravenous ribavirin under an experimental protocol. Two of these three showed significant improvement in liver function values. The third died of chronic rejection. The incidence of recurrent hepatitis C after liver transplantation is significant. Many centers have had to resort to retransplantation. Our results show that with early detection and aggressive treatment with interferon and ribavirin, hepatitis C can be controlled and retransplantation may be avoided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)24-27
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Transplant Coordination
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1996
Externally publishedYes


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