The impact of immunosuppressant therapy on the recurrence of hepatitis C post-liver transplantation
The use of immunosuppressants to reduce the likelihood of acute graft rejections is a cornerstone in the post-transplantation management of recipients. However, these agents were always associated with increased risk of deleterious effects such as infections vulnerability and comorbidities. The objective of this review is to discuss the impact of different immunosuppression strategies used in liver transplant recipients (LTRs) on the recurrence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections after transplantation. Traditionally, corticosteroids were a mainstay in immunosuppressive regimens in LTRs. Several trials have suggested early tapering of corticosteroids or steroid-free immunosuppression protocols to minimize metabolic complications and other accompanied adverse events. However, there is no consistent agreement on the apparent benefit of steroid-avoidance regimens on HCV recurrence. At present, calcineurin inhibitors alone or in combination with other immunosuppressants are the standard regimen for immunosuppression in LTRs. Although the use of mycophenolate mofetil and sirolimus were sometimes associated with a significantly lower risk of liver injury as a result of HCV recurrence, they were associated with an increased risk of acute graft rejection compared to calcineurin inhibitors. Consequently, reducing the incidence of HCV recurrence in LTRs could be at the expense of other potential complications. The appropriate selection of adequate immunosuppression could diminish the associated increased risk of HCV recurrence after liver transplantation. However, further clinical studies are still pivotal to establish the appropriate/optimal immunosuppressive therapies for HCV-positive LTRs.
Authors who publish with this journal agree to the following terms:
- Authors retain copyright and grant the journal right of first publication with the work simultaneously licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution License that allows others to share the work with an acknowledgement of the work's authorship and initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are able to enter into separate, additional contractual arrangements for the non-exclusive distribution of the journal's published version of the work (e.g., post it to an institutional repository or publish it in a book), with an acknowledgement of its initial publication in this journal.
- Authors are permitted and encouraged to post their work online (e.g., in institutional repositories or on their website) prior to and during the submission process, as it can lead to productive exchanges, as well as earlier and greater citation of published work (See The Effect of Open Access).