Ribavirin therapy for hepatitis C infection following liver transplantation

Transpl Int. 1995;8(1):61-4. doi: 10.1007/BF00366714.


Hepatitis C infection following orthotopic liver transplantation may lead to progressive chronic graft dysfunction. In this study, seven liver transplant recipients with chronic allograft dysfunction due to hepatitis C infection (one acquired and six recurrent infections) were treated with oral ribavirin for 6 months. Symptoms of lethargy, nausea and anorexia improved in all patients within 2 weeks of starting the drug, with a fall in serum AST of at least 40% by this time. Ribavirin-induced haemolysis was clinically significant in three patients, necessitating a reduction in the daily dose of ribavirin from 1.2 g to 0.2 g. Comparison of the pre- and post-treatment biopsy specimens in the four patients who tolerated the full dose of ribavirin and who had normal AST levels at the end of 6 months of treatment showed significant histological improvement with reduction in either lobular or periportal inflammation in all of the patients and a reduction in periportal fibrosis in one patient. HCV RNA remained detectable in serum in all of the patients at the end of the study.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Hepacivirus / genetics
  • Hepacivirus / immunology
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / analysis
  • Hepatitis C / drug therapy*
  • Hepatitis C / etiology
  • Hepatitis C Antibodies
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / virology
  • Liver Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pilot Projects
  • RNA, Viral / analysis
  • Ribavirin / therapeutic use*
  • Transplantation, Homologous


  • Hepatitis Antibodies
  • Hepatitis C Antibodies
  • RNA, Viral
  • Ribavirin