Recurrence of hepatitis C virus infection after liver transplantation is universal. A significant percentage of these patients develop progressive graft injury and cirrhosis. Those factors that modulate disease progression in liver transplant recipients with recurrent hepatitis C virus infection remain controversial and are poorly understood. Treatment of recurrent hepatitis C virus after liver transplantation with either interferon or interferon and ribavirin has yielded only limited success. Regardless of this, treatment is instituted. Peginterferon is more effective than standard interferon for treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection in the nontransplantation setting when used either alone or with ribavirin. The effectiveness of peginterferon, both with and without ribavirin in the posttransplantation setting, is currently being explored. In this review those factors thought to affect disease progression in patients with recurrent hepatitis C virus will be discussed, strategies that have been used to treat recurrent hepatitis C virus will be reviewed, and the impact that peginterferon may have on hepatitis C virus infection in the pretransplantation and posttransplantation setting will be explored.
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