Background: Relapse of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection after liver transplantation has been universal, and the fibrosis progression faster than in non-transplanted patients. Interferon (IFN)-free treatment with direct antiviral agents (DAA) has improved the treatment outcome dramatically. We here report on the outcome of IFN-free treatment for HCV relapse after liver transplantation in a real life setting in Sweden.
Material: In total, 93 patients with a mean age of 60 years (range 32-80) with HCV relapse after liver transplantation were given sofosbuvir-based treatment in combination with a protease inhibitor (simeprevir) or a NS5A inhibitor (daclatasvir or ledipasvir) with or without addition of ribavirin (RBV), or sofosbuvir and RBV only. Treatment was generally given during 24 weeks for advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis cases and 12 weeks for mild fibrosis with fibrosis stage 2 or less. The distribution of genotype 1, 2, 3, 4 in our patients was 58, 7.5, 26.5 and 7.5%, respectively.
Results: All recipients reached end-of-treatment response (ETR) with HCV RNA <15 IU/mL. Sustained viral response 12 weeks after treatment cessation (SVR12) was achieved in 91/93 (97.8%) recipients. The SVR12 rates for genotype 1, 2, 3 and 4 were the SVR12 rate were 96, 100, 100 and 100%, respectively (p = .04).
Conclusion: It is concluded that IFN-free treatment with DAAs for HCV relapse after liver transplantation is highly effective also in a real life setting and offers cure for most recipients.
Keywords: Chronic HCV; Direct antiviral agents (DAA); Liver Transplantation; Sustained viral response (SVR).