Effect of calcineurin inhibitors in the outcome of liver transplantation in hepatitis C virus-positive recipients.
ABSTRACT There is a paucity of good studies evaluating the impact of calcineurin inhibitors on posttransplantation outcome in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected liver transplant (LT) recipients.
We sought to determine whether there are differences on posttransplantation survival and histologic recurrence in HCV-LT recipients based on initial immunosuppression (IS) by conducting a prospective study comparing tacrolimus (Tac) versus cyclosporine-based IS in patients undergoing LT between 2001 and 2007. Protocol liver biopsies were performed.
Baseline characteristics (demographics, liver function at LT, genotype distribution, donor, surgery, and IS except for the type of calcineurin inhibitor) did not differ between groups. Severe disease (defined as bridging fibrosis, cirrhosis, cholestatic hepatitis, or allograft loss or death because of recurrent disease in the first year) was present in 67 of 253 (26.5%) and was equally distributed in the CsA and Tac groups (27% vs. 26%; P=0.68). Two thirds of protocol biopsies performed at 1 year showed some fibrosis without differences between CsA and Tac groups (75% vs. 70%). Advanced fibrosis (bridging fibrosis and cirrhosis) was diagnosed in 30% CsA and 24.5% Tac patients (P=NS). No differences in survival at 1 and 7 years were observed (83% and 67% vs. 78% and 64%, respectively, P=0.4). In summary, in patients undergoing LT for HCV-related liver disease, posttransplantation outcome is not related to the calcineurin inhibitor used.