Dr Neumanna and colleagues from Berlin in Germany undertook a study in order to analyze fibrosis progression after liver transplantation (OLT) in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected patients.
The researchers looked at protocol liver biopsies and identified risk factors, which may play a role in the development of severe fibrosis stages.
In total the researchers analyzed information from 183 liver graft recipients who had a histological follow-up evaluation of 1 year after OLT.
Overall 1039 protocol liver biopsies were performed after 1-, 3-, 5-, 7- and 10 years and staged according to the Scheuer score.
The fibrosis progression rate was not linear.
The researchers found that the fibrosis scores were 1.2 after 1, 1.7 after 3, 1.9 after 5, 2.1 after 7 and 2.2 after 10 years.
|Independent risk factors for progression of fibrosis at 1 year were HCV genotype 1 and 4 and donor age>33 years|
|Journal of Hepatology|
The 39 recipients with fibrosis stages 3 or 4 in the 1-year biopsy had a significantly reduced survival rate, while fibrosis stage 0–2 indicated excellent survival.
The research group found that independent risk factors for progression of fibrosis at 1 year were HCV genotype 1 and 4 and donor age>33 years, whereas risk factors for development of cirrhosis (30/183 recipients (16%)) were donor age and multiple steroid pulses.
Dr Neumanna concluded, "These data provide information on the course of recurrent hepatitis C and may be helpful to individualize the treatment of transplanted patients."