Source New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation, 622 West 168th Street, New York, NY 10032, USA. email@example.com
Treatment of patients with hepatitis-B-related or hepatitis-C-related decompensated cirrhosis should focus on controlling the complications of cirrhosis, surveillance for hepatocellular carcinoma and, if applicable, preparation for orthotopic liver transplant. Interferon-based regimens for the treatment of hepatitis C have been somewhat successful in patients with cirrhosis, although treatment of patients with decompensated cirrhosis should be approached with caution. Given the potential for exacerbation of decompensation and poor tolerance of adverse effects, treatment should be reserved for those patients awaiting liver transplantation.
Eradication of HCV before liver transplantation reduces the chances of recurrent hepatitis C infection after transplant. HBV can be treated with few adverse effects in patients with decompensated cirrhosis. This treatment is associated with improvement in decompensation in some patients. Hepatocellular carcinoma remains a significant risk in all patients with cirrhosis, and control of or eradication of HBV or HCV does not remove this risk.