Prospective Multicenter Study of Early Antiviral Therapy in Liver and Kidney Transplant Recipients of HCV-Viremic Donors

Norah A. Terrault, James Burton, Mark Ghobrial, Elizabeth Verna, Johanna Bayer, Christina Klein, David Victor, Sumit Mohan, James Trotter, Jennifer Dodge, Claus U. Niemann, Raymond A. Rubin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Background and Aims: Organs from hepatitis C virus (HCV)-viremic donors have been used in HCV-uninfected recipients (D+/R-), but the optimal treatment approach has not been defined. We evaluated the kinetics of HCV infection following transplant in D+/R- kidney-transplant (KT) and liver-transplant (LT) recipients when a preemptive antiviral strategy was used. Approach and Results: Six US transplant programs prospectively treated D+/R- primary LT and KT recipients with sofosbuvir-velpastasvir for 12 weeks starting once viremia was confirmed following transplant and the patients were judged to be clinically stable, including estimated glomerular filtration rate >30 mL/min. Primary endpoints were sustained virologic response at 12 weeks following transplant and safety (assessed by proportion of treatment-related adverse and serious adverse events). Of the 24 patients transplanted (13 liver, of whom 2 had prior-treated HCV infection; 11 kidney), 23 became viremic after transplant. The median (interquartile range) time from transplant to start of antiviral therapy was 7.0 (6.0, 12.0) versus 16.5 (9.8, 24.5) days, and the median (interquartile range) HCV-RNA level 3 days after transplant was 6.5 (3.9, 7.1) versus 3.6 (2.9, 4.0) log10 IU/mL in LT versus KT recipients, respectively. By week 4 of treatment, 10 of 13 (77%) LT, but only 2 of 10 (20%) KT, had undetectable HCV RNA (P = 0.01). At the end of treatment, all LT recipients were HCV RNA–undetectable, whereas 3 (30%) of the kidney recipients still had detectable, but not quantifiable, viremia. All achieved sustained virologic response at 12 weeks following transplant (lower 95% confidence interval bound: 85%). Serious adverse events considered possibly related to treatment were antibody-mediated rejection, biliary sclerosis, cardiomyopathy, and graft-versus-host disease, with the latter associated with multiorgan failure, premature treatment discontinuation, and death. Conclusions: Despite differing kinetics of early HCV infection in liver versus non-liver recipients, a preemptive antiviral strategy is effective. Vigilance for adverse immunologic events is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2110-2123
Number of pages14
Issue number6
Early online dateSep 14 2020
StateE-pub ahead of print - Sep 14 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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