The natural history of hepatitis C virus in pediatric liver transplant recipients

Liver Transpl. 2006 Jul;12(7):1119-23. doi: 10.1002/lt.20793.


Although rare in the pediatric population, the natural history of hepatitis C virus (HCV) recurrence in pediatric patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) for end-stage liver disease secondary to HCV has not been well described. We performed an analysis of all 67 pediatric patients (< 17 years old) who have undergone OLT for HCV in the United States between 1/1988 and 6/2005. The 67 pediatric patients received a total of 83 OLTs for HCV. Following initial OLTs performed for HCV, the patient and allograft survival rates were 71.6% and 55.0%, respectively, at 5 years. Following retransplantation these rates decreased to 55.0% and 33.8%, respectively, following retransplantation. Recipients were listed for retransplantation after 31.3% of all OLTs, and overall recipients were retransplanted after 19.3% of OLTs. The overwhelming majority of retransplants were performed for HCV recurrence. A mean of 1.2 OLTs were performed per patient for HCV. The median time between OLTs for HCV was 290 days. In conclusion, the risk of HCV recurrence in pediatric OLT recipients is high and is associated with a high rate of retransplantation. Still, OLT represents the only treatment option that may achieve long-term survival in pediatric patients with end-stage liver disease secondary to HCV that is recalcitrant to medical management.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Hepacivirus / physiology*
  • Hepatitis C / complications
  • Hepatitis C / surgery*
  • Hepatitis C / virology*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Liver Failure / etiology
  • Liver Failure / surgery
  • Liver Failure / virology
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome