TURKISH JOURNAL OF GASTROENTEROLOGY, cilt.22, ss.165-170, 2011 (SCI İndekslerine Giren Dergi)
Background/aims: The aim of this study was to determine the effect of hepatitis C virus infection on patient and graft survival and liver function in renal transplant patients. Methods: 1811 renal transplant patients were included in this study. One hundred renal transplant patients (5.5%) were anti-hepatitis C virus-positive. We evaluated demographic, clinical, biochemical, and serological data of patients and compared patient and graft survivals between hepatitis C virus-positive and -negative renal transplant patients. Results: The median follow-up period was 35.7 months. One hundred (5.5%) patients were anti-hepatitis C virus- positive. There were no differences between anti-hepatitis C virus-positive and -negative renal transplant patients regarding age, etiology of renal disease, number of pre-transplant blood transfusions, and hepatitis B virus coinfection rate. Rate of graft loss in anti-hepatitis C virus-positive renal transplant patients was significantly higher than in anti-hepatitis C virus-negative patients (16.0% vs. 9.2%, p=0.026). Survival analysis revealed that patient survival was similar between anti-hepatitis C virus-positive and -negative renal transplant patients. Graft survival was lower in the anti-hepatitis C virus-positive group than in anti-hepatitis C virus- negative patients, especially after the fifth year of renal transplant (p<0.001). Thirty-three percent of anti-hepatitis C virus-positive patients were positive for hepatitis C virus RNA. Twenty-seven percent of anti-hepatitis C virus-positive patients had persistent alanine aminotransferase elevation. None of the patients developed cirrhosis during the follow-up period. Conclusion: Our findings suggest that hepatitis C virus infection in renal transplant patients does not adversely affect patient survival. Long-term graft survival seems to be lower in hepatitis C virus-positive compared to hepatitis C virus-negative renal transplant patients. Nevertheless, renal transplant can be considered as a safe and effective treatment modality in anti-hepatitis C virus-positive patients with end-stage renal disease.