In this study, a team of doctors evaluated 35,186 deceased adult liver transplant recipients reported to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) Registry. They analyzed outcomes during 2 successive 5-year periods (period I = 1992 to 1996 and period II = 1997 to 2002).
The team found that 5-year graft survival was 67% for period I and 68% for period II. However, 1-year survival improved from 81 to 84%.
|Non-HCV patients with HCVab had worse 5-year graft survival.|
|American Journal of Transplantation|
In addition, blended survival rates during the two study periods showed decreased long-term graft survival in period II. This was explained by an increased number of patients with hepatitis C virus cirrhosis (HCV), as well as an increase in patients with HCV antibodies (HCVab).
In a separate analysis, where patients with HCV were excluded, the team found the same long-term graft survival during both periods.
Dr Futagawaa's team concluded, "That hepatitis C prevented improved outcomes during period II".
"Improved, more effective, treatment for hepatitis C virus would have great positive impact on overall survival of liver transplant recipients".