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HIV and Hepatitis.com Coverage of the
61st Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD 2010)
October 29 - November 2, 2010, Boston, MA
Sustained Response to Hepatitis C Therapy Is Key to Improved Survival after Liver Transplantation

 
SUMMARY: Chronic hepatitis C patients who achieve sustained virological response (SVR) to interferon-based therapy have a lower risk of death when hepatitis C virus (HCV) rebounds after a liver transplant, in comparison with untreated patients and non-responders, according to findings from an Italian study presented this week at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases "Liver Meeting" (AASLD 2010) in Boston.
 

Below is the text of a press release issues by AASLD describing the research.

Achieving Sustained Viral Response for Patients with Recurrent Hepatitis C after Transplantation Is Key for Long-Term Outcomes

Researchers from the University of Bari, Italy, concluded that treating patients after transplantation with antiviral therapy creates a sustained viral response (SVR) and protects them from liver-related deaths. The purpose of this study was to determine the long-term clinical outcomes of patients post-transplant who underwent antiviral therapy for recurrent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection of the liver graft.

The use in clinical practice of antiviral therapy for HCV recurrence after liver transplantation is still controversial. Some favor antiviral therapy while data coming from meta-analysis of published studies do not recommend treatment in view of the frequent adverse effects and the lack of clinical benefit.

Maria Rendina, MD, on behalf of the AISF RECOLT-C Group, examined the records from 12 liver transplant centers in Italy over a 20-year period, and showed data on SVR and long-term clinical outcomes for a large post-transplantation patient population.

SVR was achieved in 35 percent of the 448 patients whose records were included in this study. Researchers noted that patients who achieved SVR received grafts from younger donors, received longer treatment duration and cumulative dose of interferon, and had a lower drop-out rate and lower incidence of diabetes; however there were no differences in immunosuppressive strategy for these patients.

Of the 134 patients who died since transplantation, 73 percent of those deaths were HCV related -- and only one of those patients was able to achieve SVR. After univariate and multivariate analysis to correct for other variables, researchers demonstrated that patients with recurrent HCV who were unable to achieve SVR were at a high risk for liver-related deaths.

According to Dr. Rendina, "The results of the study are important as these data could have an impact on patient care: HCV viral eradication significantly protects patients from liver-related death and, therefore, must be strongly pursued." When asked about the future of research in this area, Dr Rendina said, "Data from the AISF RECOLT-C Group provide a direction for further randomized clinical trials aimed at exploring various treatment options as well as the efficacy of new antivirals."

Investigator affiliations: Gastroenterology, University of Bari, Bari, Italy; Niguarda Hospital, Milan, Italy; Liver Transplant Center, University of Modena, Modena, Italy; Gastroenterology, Maggiore Hospital, Milan, Italy; Gastroenterology, University of Udine, Udine, Italy; Gastroenterology, Ospedali Riuniti, Bergamo, Italy; Liver transplant Center, S. Orsola Malpighi-Hospital, Bologna, Italy; Gastroenterology, University of Padua, Padova, Italy; San Camillo Spallanzani Hospital, Rome, Italy; Sapienza University, Rome, Italy; Tor Vergata University, Rome, Italy; Internal Medicine, Catholic University, Rome, Rome, Italy.

11/5/10

Reference

M Rendina, N Castellaneta, S Fagiuoli, and others. SVR to antiviral therapy is highly protective against liver-related death in patients with HCV recurrence on the graft after liver transplantation (LT). 61st Annual Meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD 2010). Boston, October 29-November 2, 2010. Abstract 4.

Other Source
American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases. Achieving Sustained Viral Response for Patients with Recurrent Hepatitis C After Transplantation Is Key for Long-Term Outcomes. Press release. October 31, 2010.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



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