Backgrounds/aims: We evaluated the effect of antiviral therapy on fibrosis progression in patients with histological features of mild/moderate HCV disease recurrence defined by a Grading score≥4 and Staging score up to 3 (Ishak) at 1 year after liver transplantation.
Methods: Seventy-three consecutive patients with mild/moderate recurrence were randomized either to no treatment or to receive Pegilated-Interferon-alfa-2b and ribavirin for 52 weeks. Liver biopsies obtained at baseline (1 year after transplantation) and 2 years afterwards were evaluated for assessment of disease progression, defined as worsening of at least 2 staging points or progression to stage 4 or higher.
Results: As for these two major histological end points there were no statistically significant differences between the 2 groups (36.1% vs. 50%, p=0.34 and 36.1% vs. 38.9%, p=1). Fifteen treated patients (41%) achieved a sustained virological response which was associated with a reduced risk of fibrosis worsening for both endpoints when compared to viremic patients (p=0.04).
Conclusions: Although antiviral-therapy was beneficial in preventing fibrosis progression in patients achieving a sustained virological response, the majority of the overall population of our patients with mild-moderate disease recurrence could not benefit from antiviral therapy either because they either could not be treated or did not respond to treatment (EudraCT number: 2005-005760).
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.