The main indication of the Hungarian Liver Transplant Program is liver cirrhosis caused by hepatitis C. Aim: Authors present the results of liver transplantations performed due to HCV infection. Method: The data (donor-, recipient-, perioperative characteristics, survival, serum titer of C RNA, histology) of 111 HCV positive recipients were evaluated, that are 37.6% of the 295 patients, who were transplanted since 1995 till the closure of this report. Results: Twenty-two (22) of them (20%) died in the early postoperative period, for other reasons, before the recurrence of the HCV was detectable. Among the 89 HCV-positive patients the recurrence of the HCV is still not detected in 16 cases (18%), and there is a histology-proven recurrence in 73 cases (82%). In 40 cases (56%) the viral recurrence was proven within 1 year after OLT, while in 32 cases (44%) over 1 year. The cumulative 1, 3, 5, and 10 years patient survival is 73%, 67%, 56% and 49%, among HCV-positive patients and 80%, 74%, 70% and 70% among HCV-negatives. The difference is significant. The cumulative graft survival at the same time points is 72%, 66%, 56% and 49% among HCV-positives and 76%, 72%, 68% and 68% among HCV-negatives, which is a non-significant difference. The serum titer of HCV-RNA was significantly higher among those HCV-patients who had an early viral recurrence within 1 year, compared to those who had a late one. In case of an early HCV-recurrence the Knodell-score was significantly higher in the 6 months postransplant biopsy than that of in case of late viral recurrence, however, less fibrosis was observed in early recurrence. Conclusions: An early HCV recurrence can be expected in case of an older donor, with a marginal or fatty liver graft transplanted with a higher transfusion need and having an acute rejection treated with steroid bolus in the postoperative period. The protocol of the postoperative antiviral treatment differs from the average: the so-called "stop-rule" cannot be applied, since less then 10% of the recipients are expected to turn to HCV-PCR-negative due to the immunosuppression. The combined interferon + ribavirin treatment is maintained in spite of RNA-positive state, further, a second or third course of treatment might also be applied. The prolonged and - in case if necessary - repeated antiviral treatment prevents fibrosis, and therefore rate of retransplantation need. The better is the general state of the patient the results of a secondary liver transplantation are better as well. MELD-score can help to set the exact timing for a reOLT.
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