Hepatitis E virus (HEV) is an emerging problem amongst transplant recipients. We report a patient with chronic HEV hepatitis after a heart transplant. The patient received a 3-month course of oral ribavirin (17 mg/kg/day). HEV RNA became undetectable in the serum after 1 month of treatment and remained undetectable in serum and stool samples until the last follow-up, 2 months after completion of ribavirin therapy. The values of liver function indicators returned to normal reference ranges. The main ribavirin-induced side effect was a significant but well-tolerated anemia. We confirmed that ribavirin may induce a sustained virologic response (4 months after ribavirin cessation) in heart transplant patients with chronic HEV infection. Liver cytolysis is rather common in patients after heart transplantation. Rapid evolution to liver fibrosis lesions and available anti-viral therapy highlight the need to look for HEV infection in heart transplant recipients with unexplained hepatitis.
Copyright © 2011 International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.