Pegylated interferon alpha-2a and ribavirin combination therapy in HCV liver transplant recipients. Experience of 7 cases.J Gastrointestin Liver Dis 2008; 17(2):165-72JG
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) related cirrhosis represents the leading indication for liver transplantation (LT) worldwide and HCV reinfection is the rule among transplant recipients. Combination therapy with interferon and ribavirin is the treatment of choice for established recurrent hepatitis C.
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of the combination of pegylated interferon alpha-2a and ribavirin in LT recipients with histological recurrence of hepatitis C.
Seven LT recipients with chronic hepatitis C recurrence were treated with peginterferon alpha-2a with an initial intended dose of 180 microg/week and an intended dose of ribavirin 800-1000 mg/day for at least 12 months and followed-up for at least 24 weeks.
Early virological response rate was 57.1%. Three patients (42.8%) had end of treatment virological response and all had also sustained viral response (SVR). Five patients had end of treatment biological response, out of which 4 had also sustained biochemical response. Three patients had both SVR and sustained biochemical response. Four patients had end of treatment histological response, out of which 3 patients had also SVR. Cytopenia was the most common adverse event: anemia (57.1%), leucopenia/neutropenia (71.4%), thrombocytopenia (42.8%).
Combination of pegylated interferon and ribavirin can be safely and successfully used in liver transplant recipients.