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      A Prospective Study of Hepatitis C Viremia in Renal Allograft Recipients

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          Abstract

          In an attempt to study the impact of HCV viremia on renal transplant clinical course and outcome, we prospectively followed 133 HBsAg-negative end stage renal disease (ESRD) patients, in whom HCV-RNA-PCR results were available, from the pre- to post-transplant period. Eighty (60%) ESRD patients tested PCR-positive, of these, 12 (15%) were anti-HCV negative by second generation ELISA. The viremic patients had a longer time on dialysis (p < 0.001), received more blood units (p < 0.001) and had a higher frequency of pre-transplantation liver disease (p < 0.001). Further, 41% of PCR-positive patients gave a history of antischistosomal treatment compared with 23% of PCR-negative ones (p = 0.048). Recipients with and without HCV viremia were followed for a mean of 31.8 ± 5.8 (range 6–42) months and 29.8 ± 9 (range 6–41) months respectively, p = 0.14. While the prevalence of HCV viremia increased from 60 to 64% at the last follow-up, the anti-HCV seroprevalence decreased from 63 to 61%. PCR-positive patients had higher rates of both acute (p = 0.005) and chronic (p < 0.001) liver disease after transplantation compared with PCR-negative patients. However, none of our HCV RNA positive recipients developed a fulminant liver disease or hepatic failure until the last follow-up. Stepwise logistic regression analysis identified pre-transplant liver disease (Odds ratio = 2.4; p = 0.07) and a cumulative corticosteroid dose in excess of 15 g at the last follow-up (Odds ratio = 3; p = 0.03) as independent predictors of post-transplant hepatic dysfunction in PCR-positive patients. Azathioprine was discontinued due to hepatic dysfunction in a significantly (p = 0.005) higher proportion of viremic patients compared with the non-viremic ones. There were no significant differences between PCR-positive and -negative patients in terms of frequencies and individual causes of graft and patient losses. Our results demonstrate that HCV infection is extremely prevalent in Egyptian hemodialysis patients and is responsible for most hepatic dysfunctions after transplantation. Although HCV viremia did not negatively affect graft or patient outcome until 31 months post-transplantation, the authors would recommend that a viremic patient should have a liver biopsy before transplantation and be immunosuppressed with caution post-transplantation. A longer follow-up may be required to exclude increased rates of HCV-induced hepatic mortalities.

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          Most cited references 1

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          Hepatitis C virus infection in renal transplant recipients: epidemiology, clinical impact, serological confirmation and viral replication

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            Author and article information

            Journal
            AJN
            Am J Nephrol
            10.1159/issn.0250-8095
            American Journal of Nephrology
            S. Karger AG
            0250-8095
            1421-9670
            1999
            October 1999
            26 November 1999
            : 19
            : 5
            : 576-585
            Affiliations
            Urology and Nephrology Center, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt
            Article
            13523 Am J Nephrol 1999;19:576–585
            10.1159/000013523
            10575187
            © 1999 S. Karger AG, Basel

            Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug. Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.

            Page count
            Tables: 6, References: 50, Pages: 10
            Product
            Self URI (application/pdf): https://www.karger.com/Article/Pdf/13523
            Categories
            Clinical Study

            Cardiovascular Medicine, Nephrology

            Kidney, Hepatitis C virus, Transplantation

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