Little is known about autoantibody pattern in liver transplantation (LT). The aim of the study was to examine autoantibodies (AAB) and immunoglobulins in patients with end-stage liver disease before and after LT. Patients with LT who underwent post-LT biopsies between 10/2008 and 8/2011 were enrolled. AAB were assessed at the time of LT and liver biopsy. Demographics, serum immunoglobulins, AAB, and liver histology (explant, post-LT biopsies) were analyzed. Two hundred and twenty patients (M/F 143/77; age at LT 54 (19-73)) were included; AAB and immunoglobulins were evaluated in 76 patients. Length of follow-up from LT was 285 (30-1462) days. Sixty-one percent of patients had hepatitis C (HCV); 83% developed recurrent HCV. A significant decrease in IgG, IgA, IgM (p < 0.001 each), anticardiolipin antibodies IgG and IgM (p = 0.02), and beta-2 microglobulin (p = 0.004) was observed post-LT. HCV patients had higher IgG (p = 0.005), rheumatoid factor (p = 0.044) before LT; elevated IgM was associated with increased inflammation in the explant (p = 0.007). Lower IgG levels and antismooth muscle antibodies were present before LT in a higher percentage in patients who would develop recurrent HCV (p = 0.004, p = 0.077, respectively). In conclusion, AAB change significantly after LT and have a different pattern in HCV. Some immunological markers are associated with HCV recurrence and advanced inflammation on explant.
- Hepatitis C
- Liver transplantation