BACKGROUND.: There is no consensus on hepatitis C virus (HCV) treatment in patients with renal failure. Toxicity of pegylated interferon (PEG-IFN) and ribavirin limit options; hence the ideal approach for therapy in these patients deserves attention. We report the results of kidney transplantation (KTx) candidates infected with HCV treated with PEG-IFN monotherapy.
METHODS.: KTx candidates with HCV infection treated with PEG-IFN monotherapy between January 2001 and February 2009 were included. Liver biopsies were performed before therapy. Response was assessed using accepted virological time points.
RESULTS.: From 2636 patients listed for KTx, 60 patients were tested positive for anti-HCV. Twenty-two patients were eligible for treatment. All patients were HCV treatment na�ve. One patient had biopsy-confirmed cirrhosis. Mean Ishak-Knodell fibrosis stage was 1.3. Ten patients (45%) achieved sustained viral response. In genotype 1 patients, there were no relapsers among early responders, despite the limited regimen. Nine patients (40%) in the cohort have had KTx. Of these, there were four responders and five nonresponders. None of the responders have had recurrence of their HCV after their KTx.
CONCLUSIONS.: End-stage renal disease patients with HCV can be treated successfully with PEG-IFN monotherapy. Our sustained viral response rate was 45% (10/22) in patients treated before KTx.