Background & aims: Liver transplantation for hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related liver disease is characterized by frequent graft infection by HCV. The prognosis and risk factors for morbidity and mortality in this condition were determined.
Methods: A retrospective study of 652 consecutive anti-HCV-positive patients undergoing liver transplantation between 1984 and 1995 in 15 European centers was conducted; 102 patients coinfected with hepatitis B virus (HBV) received immunoglobulin prophylaxis for antibody to hepatitis B surface antigen.
Results: Overall, 5-year survival was 72%. Five-year actuarial rates of hepatitis and cirrhosis were 80% and 10%. Genotypes 1b, 1a, and 2 were detected in 214 (80%), 24 (9%), and 24 (9%) of 268 patients analyzed. The only discriminant factor for patient or graft survival was hepatocellular carcinoma as primary indication. Independent risk factors for recurrent hepatitis included the absence of HBV coinfection before transplantation (relative risk [RR], 1.7; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.2-2.6; P = 0.005), genotype 1b (RR, 2; 95% CI, 1.3-2.9; P = 0.01), and age > 49 years (RR, 1.4; 95% CI, 1.1-1.8; P = 0.01).
Conclusions: The results of transplantation for HCV-related disease are compromised by a significant risk of cirrhosis, although 5-year survival is satisfactory. Genotype 1b, age, and absence of pretransplantation coinfection by HBV are risk factors for recurrent HCV.