Aggressive use of ribavirin and prolonged course of peginterferon to improve the rate of viral response in liver transplant patients with recurrent hepatitis C viral infection

Aaditya Singhal, Ashokkumar Jain, Monika Burke, Martin Black

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2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objectives: There are different approaches for treating recurrent hepatitis C viral infection after a liver transplant. However, sustained virologic response is achieved in < 40% of infected allografts. We examined sustained virologic response improvement using a prolonged course of peginterferon and aggressive use of ribavirin. Patients and Methods: From October 1998 to May 2008, 24 patients (13 male, 11 female; mean age at transplant, 49.4 ± 7.7 years) received a prolonged course of peginterferon and ribavirin (range, 48-180 weeks). The mean interval from liver transplant to hepatitis C antiviral therapy was 26.6 ± 27.8 months. Patients began weight-based standard dosages of peginterferon and ribavirin. In case of hemolysis, patients were treated with Epogen, with and without blood transfusions. Results: Fourteen patients (58.3%) had an end of treatment response, and 8 patients (33.3%) maintained sustained virologic response after the first course of therapy. Of 10 patients who did not respond to the first course, 6 received an extended course of antiviral therapy after a mean of 15 ± 4.6 weeks from completion of first course. Five of these 6 patients achieved end of treatment response and maintained a sustained virologic response, resulting in an overall end of treatment response in 17 patients and a sustained virologic response in 13 patients. Twenty-two patients experienced hemolysis and were treated with Epogen. Fifteen patients received blood transfusions. Ribavirin dosage was reduced in 12 patients, and peginterferon dosage was reduced in 2 patients. Conclusions: Aggressive use of ribavirin and prolonged course of peginterferon provided sustained virologic response in 54.1% of liver transplant recipients with recurrent hepatitis C virus-infection. More prospective studies are warranted to evaluate the benefit of this approach fully.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-219
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental and Clinical Transplantation
Volume8
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Transplantation

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