Treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus infection with pegylated interferon and ribavirin in cirrhotic patients awaiting liver transplantation

Be Annicchiarico, Massimo Siciliano, Alfonso Wolfango Avolio, Giulio Caracciolo, Antonio Gasbarrini, Salvatore Agnes, Marco Castagneto

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in rivistaArticolo in rivista

24 Citazioni (Scopus)


Successful treatment of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection can prevent reinfection after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). Pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) may ameliorate virological response (VR), making the risk-to-benefit ratio of therapy favorable in waiting list patients. From January 2001 to April 2006, we treated 15 HCV cirrhotics with PEG-IFN alpha-2b (1.5 microg/kg/week) and ribavirin (RIBA; >or=10.6 mg/kg/d). Their mean age was 51.5 years. There were 9 men. In 6 cases the genotype was 1b. With Child-Pugh scores >or=9 (range 9-12) and Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) scores >or=14 (range, 14-22). Adverse events occurred in all subjects: thrombocytopenia (<40,000/microL) in 8; neutropenia (<700/microL) in 10; anemia (Hb <8.5 g/dL) in 1; grade III hepatic encephalopathy in 2; pelvic infection in 1; variceal hemorrhage in 1; and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) recurrence in 1. Adverse events caused treatment withdrawal in 6 (40.0%) and RIBA and/or PEG-IFN dose reduction in 10 (66.6%). Early VR (EVR) was obtained in 9 subjects (60.0%), end-of-treatment (EOT) VR in 7 (46.6%), and sustained VR (SVR) in 3 (20.0%). Three subjects--2 nonresponder and 1 breakthrough--were transplanted at 25, 23, and 16 months after the EOT, respectively. Three subjects died at 6, 8, and 15 months after the EOT due to HCC, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, and liver failure. Nine patients are awaiting OLT. The risk-to-benefit ratio is against PEG-INF and RIBA treatment of severely decompensated cirrhotics infected with genotype 1 awaiting OLT, but therapy is probably beneficial in genotype 2 subjects, due to an expected SVR rate of more than 40%. However, one must carefully consider the high risk for severe adverse events.
Lingua originaleEnglish
pagine (da-a)1918-1920
Numero di pagine3
RivistaTransplantation Proceedings
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2008


  • Female
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic
  • Humans
  • Interferon-alpha
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • Liver Failure
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Patient Selection
  • Polyethylene Glycols
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • Ribavirin
  • Risk Assessment
  • Waiting Lists


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