Background and Aims: The present organ shortage has brought into question the suitability of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive grafts. This study reviewed the outcome of such transplantations in our institution. Methods: Twenty-three HCV-positive patients who underwent orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) for end-stage liver disease with HCV-positive grafts in 1992-1995 were studied. Only patients who survived more than 30 days were included in the analysis. Control group included 169 patients who underwent transplantation for HCV-related cirrhosis and received HCV-negative organs. Results: Patients who received HCV-infected organs had a cumulative survival rate of 89% and 72% at 1 and 5 years, respectively, vs. 88% and 73% for the control group (NS). There was no difference in graft survival, incidence of cirrhosis, mean hepatitis activity index score, fibrosis, or mean activity of serum transaminases. There was a trend toward lower incidence of recurrent hepatitis C in the study group compared with control (21% vs. 23% at 1 year and 47% vs. 64% at 5 years; NS). Patients in whom the donor strain became predominant after transplantation had significantly longer disease-free survival than patients who retained their own HCV strain (P < 0.003). Conclusions: HCV-infected livers transplanted into HCV-infected recipients do not appear to convey a worse outcome in the initial years after OLT than HCV- negative grafts.
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