Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is highly prevalent worldwide, and results in significant morbidity and mortality. HCV frequently infects haemodialysis patients and appears to impact on long-term survival of kidney transplant recipients. Therefore, treatment is recommended for kidney transplant candidates before transplantation and should be avoided following transplantation because of a high risk of allograft rejection. HCV infection does not appear to influence survival in cardiac transplant recipients and cardiac transplant recipients should also not be treated. In general, HCV-infected patients with cirrhosis are not considered as candidates for either kidney or cardiac transplantation given their risk of decompensation. HCV is the most common indication for liver transplantation and re-infection with varying degrees of liver injury is universal. Survival after liver transplantation is reduced among HCV-infected patients when compared with uninfected controls. Therefore, treatment using interferon and ribavirin is advocated; however, such therapy is frequently limited by adverse effects. Thus, improved antiviral treatment modalities are eagerly awaited in the transplant setting.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)