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Immunosuppression and HCV recurrence after liver transplantation

Samonakis, DN; Germani, G; Burroughs, AK; (2012) Immunosuppression and HCV recurrence after liver transplantation. Journal of Hepatology , 56 (4) pp. 973-983. 10.1016/j.jhep.2011.06.031.

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HCV related liver disease is the most common indication for liver transplantation. Recurrence of HCV infection is universal and has a substantial impact on patient and graft survival. Immunosuppression is a major factor responsible for the accelerated recurrence and compressed natural history of recurrent HCV infection. Accumulating experience has provided data to support certain strategies for immunosuppressive regimens. From the available evidence, more severe recurrence results from repeated bolus corticosteroid therapy and anti-lymphocyte antibodies used to treat rejection. Low dose and slow tapering of steroids are better than high dose maintenance and/or rapid tapering. Recent meta-analyses favour steroid-free regimens but these are complicated to interpret as the absence of steroids may simply represent less immunopotency. There is no difference in HCV recurrence between tacrolimus and cyclosporine regimens, but tacrolimus increases graft and p atient survival in HCV transplanted patients. There may be a beneficial effect of maintenance azathioprine given for 6 months or longer. There is no conclusive evidence for benefit of mycophenolate and interleukin-2 receptor blockers. Few data are available for mTOR inhibitors. Better evidence is needed to establish the optimal immunosuppressive regimen for HCV recipients and more randomized trials should be performed. © 2011 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Type: Article
Title: Immunosuppression and HCV recurrence after liver transplantation
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhep.2011.06.031
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1345730
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