Source 1 Multi-Organ Transplant Program, London Health Sciences Centre, University Hospital, London, ON, Canada. 2 Division of General Surgery, The Department of Surgery, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada. 3 Division of Gastroenterology, The Department of Surgery, The University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada.
BACKGROUND.: In hepatitis C virus (HCV) recipients of donation after cardiac death (DCD) grafts, there is suggestion of lower rates of graft survival, indicating that DCD grafts themselves may represent a significant risk factor for severe recurrence of HCV.
METHODS.: We evaluated all DCD liver transplant recipients from August 2006 to February 2011 at our center. Recipients with HCV who received a DCD graft (group 1, HCV+ DCD, n=17) were compared with non-HCV recipients transplanted with a DCD graft (group 2, HCV- DCD, n=15), and with a matched group of HCV recipients transplanted with a donation after brain death (DBD) graft (group 3, HCV+ DBD, n=42).
RESULTS.: A trend of poorer graft survival was seen in HCV+ patients who underwent a DCD transplant (group 1) compared with HCV- patients who underwent a DCD transplant (group 2) (P=0.14). Importantly, a statistically significant difference in graft survival was seen in HCV+ patients undergoing DCD transplant (group 1) (73%) as compared with DBD transplant (group 3) (93%)(P=0.01). There was a statistically significant increase in HCV recurrence at 3 months (76% vs. 16%) (P=0.005) and severe HCV recurrence within the first year (47% vs. 10%) in the DCD group (P=0.004).
CONCLUSIONS.: HCV recurrence is more severe and progresses more rapidly in HCV+ recipients who receive grafts from DCD compared with those who receive grafts from DBD. DCD liver transplantation in HCV+ recipients is associated with a higher rate of graft failure compared with those who receive grafts from DBD. Caution must be taken when using DCD grafts in HCV+ recipients.