Treatment of recurrent HCV infection following liver transplantation: Results of a multicenter, randomized, versus placebo, trial of ribavirin alone as maintenance therapy after one year of PegIFN alpha-2a plus ribavirin
ABSTRACT We aimed at determining the effect of maintenance therapy with ribavirin alone, after a year of combined peginterferon-alfa 2a (PegIFNα-2a) and ribavirin therapy, on viral response and liver histology after liver transplantation (LT).
Hundred and one patients with recurrent HCV and a minimum of stage 1 fibrosis (METAVIR scoring), 1-5years after LT, were enrolled. PegIFNα-2a and ribavirin were initiated at 90 μg/wk and 600 mg/d, respectively, then increased or adjusted as a function of tolerance. At 12 months, combination therapy was discontinued and patients were randomized to ribavirin or placebo for a further 12 months. Growth factor use was permitted.
At 18 months, a sustained virological response (SVR) was obtained in 47.9% of patients in Per Protocol (PP) analysis, and was higher in patients with genotype 2 or 3 than in patients with genotype 1 or 4, in patients with genotypes 1+4 receiving ciclosporine than in those receiving tacrolimus, in patients with worse renal function, in those having received EPO, in patients with lower weight, and in those with lower viral load at 3 months. Using logistic regression, only the early viral response, recipient weight and renal function were independently associated with better SVR. SVR, viral load, activity, and fibrosis scores were similar, at M18 and M30, in patients randomized to ribavirin, or to placebo.
A PP SVR was achieved in 47.9% of patients with established recurrent hepatitis C after LT. Maintenance therapy with ribavirin alone does not improve the virological response or the histological parameters.
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ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related liver disease, including cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma is the main indication for liver transplantation (LT) worldwide. Post-transplant HCV re-infection is almost universal and results in accelerated progression from acute hepatitis to chronic hepatitis, and liver cirrhosis. Comprehension and treatment of recurrent HCV infection after LT have been major issues for all transplant hepatologists and transplant surgeons for the last decades. The aim of this paper is to review the evolution of our knowledge on the natural history of HCV recurrence after LT, including risk factors for disease progression, and antiviral therapy. We will focus our attention on possible ways (present and future) to improve the final long-term results of LT for HCV-related liver disease.World Journal of Gastroenterology 08/2014; 20(32):11069-11079. DOI:10.3748/wjg.v20.i32.11069 · 2.43 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Chronic HCV infection is the leading indication for liver transplantation. However, as a result of HCV recurrence, patient and graft survival after liver transplantation are inferior compared with other indications for transplantation. HCV recurrence after liver transplantation is associated with considerable mortality and morbidity. The development of HCV-related fibrosis is accelerated after liver transplantation, which is influenced by a combination of factors related to the virus, donor, recipient, surgery and immunosuppression. Successful antiviral therapy is the only treatment that can attenuate fibrosis. The advent of direct-acting antiviral agents (DAAs) has changed the therapeutic landscape for the treatment of patients with HCV. DAAs have improved tolerability, and can potentially be used without PEG-IFN for a shorter time than previous therapies, which should result in better outcomes. In this Review, we describe the important risk factors that influence HCV recurrence after liver transplantation, highlighting the mechanisms of fibrosis and the integral role of hepatic stellate cells. Indirect and direct assessment of fibrosis, in addition to new antiviral therapies, are also discussed.Nature Reviews Gastroenterology & Hepatology 07/2014; DOI:10.1038/nrgastro.2014.114 · 10.81 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: BACKGROUND & AIMS: Interferon alfa-based regimens used to treat recurrent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection after liver transplantation are poorly tolerated, associated with generally modest efficacy, and can interact with immunosuppressive agents. We evaluated the efficacy and safety of an interferon-free regimen of the nucleotide polymerase inhibitor sofosbuvir combined with ribavirin for 24 weeks in treating post-transplantation HCV infection. METHODS: In a prospective, multicenter, open-label pilot study, we enrolled patients with compensated recurrent HCV infection of any genotype after a primary or secondary liver transplantation. All patients received 24 weeks of sofosbuvir 400 mg daily and ribavirin starting at 400 mg daily, which was adjusted according to creatinine clearance and hemoglobin values. The primary end point was sustained virologic response 12 weeks after treatment. RESULTS: Of the 40 patients enrolled and treated, 78% were male, 85% were white, 83% had HCV genotype 1, 40% had cirrhosis (based on biopsy), and 88% had been previously treated with interferon. Sustained virologic response 12 weeks after treatment was achieved by 28 of 40 patients (70%; 90% confidence interval: 56%-82%). Relapse accounted for all cases of virologic failure. No patients had detectable viral resistance during or after treatment. The most common adverse events were fatigue (30%), diarrhea (28%), and headache (25%). In addition, 20% of the subjects experienced anemia. Two patients discontinued study treatment because of adverse events, which were considered unrelated to study treatment. No deaths, graft losses, or episodes of rejection occurred. No interactions with any concomitant immunosuppressive agents were reported. CONCLUSIONS: Sofosbuvir and ribavirin combination therapy for 24 weeks is an effective and well-tolerated interferon-free treatment for post-transplantation HCV infection. EudraCT, Number: 2012-002417-19; ClinicalTrials.gov, Number: NCT01687270.Gastroenterology 10/2014; 148(1). DOI:10.1053/j.gastro.2014.10.001 · 13.93 Impact Factor