Background: Recently, a controversy has emerged: is the rate of recurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) higher following treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) with direct-acting antiviral (DAA) therapy? However, the risk of HCC recurrence has not been studied in liver transplant (LTx) recipients who received DAA therapy. The aim of the present study is to compare the rate of HCC recurrence in LTx recipients who did or did not receive DAA therapy. Patients and methods: Sixty-three patients received LTx with HCC. Twenty-seven (42.9%) with HCV received DAA therapy (Group A), 20 (31.7%) with HCV did not receive DAA therapy (Group B), and 16 (25.4%) did not have HCV (Group C). Results: In group A, three (11%), in group B, one (5%), and in group C, none had recurrence of HCC. Actuarial 4-year recurrence-free survival was 88.9, 95, and 100% in group A, B, and C, respectively (p = 0.37). Group A was subdivided into two groups for comparison with Group B: A1 included five patients who had end of treatment response (ETR) without sustained virological response (SVR), and A2 included 20 patients who achieved SVR. Three patients from A1 had HCC recurrence and no patients from A2 had HCC recurrence. (p = 0.0038; group A1, A2, and B). Conclusions: The rate of HCC recurrence in LTx patients with DAA therapy was significantly higher with ETR, without SVR, after DAA therapy compared to patients with SVR or patients who did not receive DAA therapy. LTx recipients with HCC receiving DAA therapy requires further studies.
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