Hepatitis C Virus-Infected Women Have a Higher Risk of Advanced Fibrosis and Graft Loss After Liver Transplantation than Men

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of California-San Francisco, San Francisco, CA 94143, USA.
Hepatology (Impact Factor: 11.06). 08/2011; 54(2):418-24. DOI: 10.1002/hep.24390
Source: PubMed


In natural history studies of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection, women have a lower risk of disease progression to cirrhosis. Whether female sex influences outcomes of HCV in the posttransplantation setting is unknown. All patients transplanted for HCV-related liver disease from 2002-2007 at five United States transplantation centers were included. The primary outcome was development of advanced disease, defined as biopsy-proven bridging fibrosis or cirrhosis. Secondary outcomes included death, graft loss, and graft loss with advanced recurrent disease. A total of 1,264 patients were followed for a median of 3 years (interquartile range, 1.8-4.7), 304 (24%) of whom were women. The cumulative rate of advanced disease at 3 years was 38% for women and 33% for men (P=0.31), but after adjustment for recipient age, donor age, donor anti-HCV positivity, posttransplantation HCV treatment, cytomegalovirus infection and center, female sex was an independent predictor of advanced recurrent disease (hazard ratio [HR], 1.31; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.02-1.70; P=0.04). Among women, older donor age and treated acute rejection were the primary predictors of advanced disease. The unadjusted cumulative 3-year rates of patient and graft survival were numerically lower in women (75% and 74%, respectively) than men (80% and 78%, respectively), and in multivariable analyses, female sex was an independent predictor for death (HR, 1.30; 95% CI, 1.01-1.67; P=0.04) and graft loss (HR, 1.31; 95% CI, 1.02-1.67; P=0.03). CONCLUSION: Female sex represents an underrecognized risk factor for advanced recurrent HCV disease and graft loss. Further studies are needed to determine whether modification of donor factors, immunosuppression, and posttransplantation therapeutics can equalize HCV-specific outcomes in women and men.

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Available from: Jacqueline G O'Leary
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    • "Degree of steatosis in donors' livers did not exceed 15% consequently avoiding the possibility of having worse outcome when receiving grafts with > 30% steatosis as reported by Briceño et al. [24]. Regarding recipient's sex, Lai et al. [25] reported that female sex was an independent predictor of advanced recurrent disease and mortality, a finding that could not be supported by our data showing that sex of recipient does not affect the postoperative disease-free survival (P = 0.776). Belli et al. [26] reported a synergistic effect between donors' age and recipients' female sex, which highlights the importance of using younger donors for female recipients. "
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    ABSTRACT: HCV recurrence represents a universal phenomenon after liver transplantation. In this study Fifty HCV patients who underwent living donor liver transplantation were enrolled and factors that may accelerate HCV reinfection of the allograft such as donor's age and degree of liver steatosis, recipient's age, gender, BMI, MELD score, liver functions, HCV viral load, type of immunosuppressive drug, and genetic polymorphisms of IL28B, OAS, and IL1B were studied. The results of disease-free survival (DFS) rates showed inverse correlation with the recipient's postoperative levels of ALT, AST, ALP (P < 0.001, <0.001, and 0.006 resp.) as well as pre- and postoperative titers of HCV RNA (P < 0.003 and <0.001 resp.). Recipient's IL28B SNP was a significant factor in predicting postoperative DFS (P < 0.025). However, SNPs in OAS and IL1B genes had no apparent correlation with DFS. Cox proportional hazards model revealed that patients with elevated levels of ALT, preoperative viral titers, IL28B CT, and IL28B TT were 8.28, 4.22, 3.35, and 1.36 times, respectively, more likely to develop recurrence. In conclusion IL28B SNP, ALT level, and preoperative HCV titer besides proper choice of immunosuppressant are helpful for predicting posttransplant HCV recurrence and DFS.
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    • "It has been also suggested that a less complex quasispecies composition before transplantation is associated with a more severe recurrence [56] [57] [58]. Older recipient age [51] [59] [60], race (white donor/black recipient) [61] [62] [63], and sex (male [64]/female [15] [65] recipient) are also reported to be associated with impaired outcome. Recent studies suggest that polymorphisms close to the interleukin (IL)-28B gene, both in the recipient and the donor, can affect not only the course of recurrent HCV hepatitis but also the response to antiviral therapy after liver transplantation with a poorer outcome in the CT and TT genotypes than in the CC genotype [66] [67] [68] [69], which could be useful for selecting a suitable donor for HCV-infected recipients. "
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis-C-virus- (HCV-) related end-stage cirrhosis is the primary indication for liver transplantation in many countries. Unfortunately, however, HCV is not eliminated by transplantation and graft reinfection is universal, resulting in fibrosis, cirrhosis, and finally graft decompensation. The use of poor quality organs, particularly from older donors, has a highly negative impact on the severity of recurrence and patient/graft survival. Although immunosuppressive regimens have a considerable impact on the outcome, the optimal regimen after liver transplantation for HCV-infected patients remains unclear. Disease progression monitoring with protocol biopsy and new noninvasive methods is essential for predicting patient/graft outcome and starting antiviral treatment with the appropriate timing. Antiviral treatment with pegylated interferon and ribavirin is currently considered the most promising regimen with a sustained viral response rate of around 30% to 35%, although the survival benefit of this regimen remains to be investigated. Living-donor liver transplantation is now widely accepted as an established treatment for HCV cirrhosis and the results are equivalent to those of deceased donor liver transplantation.
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    ABSTRACT: Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a major cause for liver transplantation worldwide. Still, HCV re-infection of the graft occurs in almost all cases. Most liver transplant recipients experience episodes of graft hepatitis associated with fibrosis progression and graft failure. Clinical management of graft hepatitis can be challenging as in addition to rejection and HCV-induced hepatitis various other factors might be involved including toxic liver injury, steatohepatitis, ischaemic bile duct lesions or infections with other pathogens. Treatment options are often contradictory for different causes of graft hepatitis, and the role of distinct immunosuppressive drugs has been discussed controversially. Corticosteroids increase the infectivity of HCV by altering expression levels of entry factors and other immunosuppressive agents may have diverse effects on HCV replication and fibrosis progression. Interferon alpha-therapy of hepatitis C shows limited efficacy and tolerability in liver transplant recipients and may also cause rejection. In this review we summarize the current knowledge on mechanisms of liver injury in post-transplant hepatitis C, discuss the pros and cons of immunosuppressive agents in this specific setting and describe potential novel approaches to prevent HCV reinfection.
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