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Transplanted fatty livers associated with worse prognosis for patients with HCV
Date:1/13/2009

A new study suggests that patients with hepatitis C (HCV) who need a liver transplant should not receive an organ with high levels of fatty deposits (a.k.a. hepatic steatosis). HCV recurrence was more frequent and earlier among those transplanted with such livers. These findings are in the January issue of Liver Transplantation, a journal published by John Wiley & Sons. The article is also available online at Wiley Interscience (www.interscience.wiley.com).

Recently, reports have revealed that survival rates among HCV-infected liver transplant recipients are decreasing. This is particularly troubling because HCV is the most common indication for liver transplantation in Western countries. In these places, the donor population is more likely to be overweight, and therefore more likely to have fatty livers. These organs are highly susceptible to cold or warm ischemia injury, leading researchers to hypothesize that liver steatosis may be affecting the outcomes for transplant recipients.

Researchers, led by Javier Briceo and Ruben Ciria of Cordoba, Spain, sought to determine the influence of donor liver steatosis on outcomes for HCV patients who received them. They included 120 patients who underwent liver transplantation as a result of HCV-cirrhosis between 1995 and 2005. Donor steatosis was categorized as absent (0-10 percent), mild (10-30 percent), moderate (30-60 percent) or severe (greater than 60 percent).

"Our results show a direct relationship between marginal donor, graft steatosis and a more frequent, severe and earlier viral recurrence after orthotopic liver transplantation for HCV-related cirrhosis," the authors report. Patient survival was significantly worse when graft steatosis was 30 percent or more.

Survival of the graft was inversely proportional to donor liver steatosis. After three years, graft survival was 72 percent for transplant recipients whose donor
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Contact: Sean Wagner
medicalnews@bos.blackwellpublishing.com
781-388-8550
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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