There is a high prevalence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection among immunosuppressed patients including renal transplant recipients. The study investigated serum viral loads for up to 6 months posttransplantation among these patients. Serum viral load was serially monitored using real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) in 25 HCV-positive renal transplant recipients pretransplantation as well as day 10 and 6 months posttransplantation. A liver biopsy specimen obtained under vision at the time of transplantation was analyzed for viral load as well as for histological changes. There was increased viremia at day 10 followed by a significant (2 log) reduction at 6 months posttransplantation. Pretransplantation serum and intrahepatic viral load showed significant positive correlations (r = 0.727; P = .001), the latter also reflecting liver fibrosis score (r = 0.423; P = .05). The findings suggested that serum viral load reflects intrahepatic viral load, which in turn correlates with liver fibrosis. At 6 months posttransplantation, the modulatory effects of immunosuppressive drugs and of the host immune response may lead to a reduced viral load.
|Number of pages||6|
|State||Published - Nov 2010|