From the Journals

‘Excellent short-term outcomes’ seen in HCV+ liver transplants to HCV– recipients



Liver transplantation using hepatitis C virus (HCV)-seropositive grafts to HCV-seronegative recipients resulted in “excellent short-term outcomes,” according to the results of a prospective, multicenter study reported in the Journal of Hepatology.

A total of 34 HCV– liver transplantation recipients received grafts from HCV+ donors (20 HCV viremic and 14 nonviremic) from January 2018 to September 2019, according to Bashar Aqel, MD, of the Mayo Clinic, Phoenix, Ariz., and colleagues.

Seven of the grafts were obtained from donation after cardiac death (DCD). Six recipients underwent simultaneous liver/kidney (SLK) transplant, and four patients were repeat liver transplants.

Sustained viral response

None of the recipients of an HCV nonviremic graft developed HCV viremia. However, all 20 patients who received HCV viremic grafts had HCV viremia confirmed within 3 days after liver transplant. Direct-acting antiviral (DAA) treatment was started at the median time of 27.5 days in these patients.

All 20 patients successfully completed the treatment and achieved a sustained viral response. In addition, the DAA treatment was well tolerated with minimal adverse events, according to the researchers.

However, one patient died, having developed HCV-related acute membranous nephropathy that resulted in end-stage kidney disease. In addition, a recipient of an HCV nonviremic graft died with acute myocardial infarction 610 days post liver transplant, the authors reported.

“This multicenter study demonstrated LT [liver transplantation] using HCV-seropositive grafts to HCV-seronegative recipients resulted in acceptable short-term outcomes even with the use of DCD grafts and expansion into SLK or repeat LT. However, a careful ongoing assessment regarding patient and graft selection, complications, and the timing of treatment is required,” the researchers concluded.

The study was funded in part by the McIver Estate Young Investigator Benefactor Award. The authors reported they had no potential conflicts.

SOURCE: Aqel B et al. J Hepatol. 2020, Nov 11. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2020.11.005.

Next Article: