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Challenging hepatitis C-infected liver transplant patients

Authors Oliver M, Ortiz C, Ortiz J

Received 10 September 2015

Accepted for publication 26 November 2015

Published 18 January 2016 Volume 2016:8 Pages 1—8

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/HMER.S96110

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewers approved by Dr Sathish kumar Natarajan

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Gerry Lake-Bakaar


Madeleine Oliver,1 Christopher Chiodo Ortiz,2 Jorge Ortiz3

1University of Toledo College of Medicine, Toledo, OH, 2Bucknell University, Lewisburg, PA, 3Department of Transplant Surgery, University of Toledo Medical Center, Toledo, OH, USA

Abstract: Caring for liver transplant patients suffering from chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is a challenging task for transplant surgeons and primary physicians alike. HCV is the leading cause of liver transplantation in the USA and comes with a myriad of complications that increase morbidity and mortality. This review focuses on patient follow-up, spanning from before the liver transplant occurs to the patient's long-term health. Pretransplant, both donor and recipient variables, must be carefully chosen to ensure optimal surgical success. Risk factors must be identified and HCV viral load must be reduced to a minimum. In addition to standard transplant complications, HCV patients suffer from additional problems, such as fibrosing cholestatic hepatitis and widespread viremia. Physicians must focus on the balance of immunosuppressive and antiviral medications, while considering possible side effects from these potent drugs. Over the years following surgery, physicians must identify any signs of failing liver health, as HCV-positive patients have an increased risk for cirrhosis and certain life-threatening malignancies.

Keywords: liver transplant, hepatitis C virus, postoperative, cirrhosis, donor and recipient variables, viremia

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