Large-scale study confirms antiviral therapy should be systematically offered to hepatitis B- and C-infected kidney transplant recipients, reported in the Journal of Hepatology.
Amsterdam, March 14, 2019 – Prior to the development of antiviral therapy, kidney transplant recipients infected with either hepatitis B (HBV) or hepatitis C (HCV) experienced poor outcomes. In a new studyin the Journal of Hepatology, published by Elsevier, researchers report favorable 10-year survival rates for patients with HBV and/or HCV treated with antiviral agents and advise that antiviral therapy should be systematically offered to all HBV and HCV patients in line with international recommendations.
Renal transplantation is currently the best treatment for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) because it significantly improves survival compared to patients who remain on hemodialysis. Since the 1990s, antiviral therapy using nucleos(t)ide analogues like adefovir, lamivudine, tenofovir, and entecavir, has benefited HBV-infected patients by preventing viral replication in infected cells. Interferon-based therapy has been rarely used in HCV-infected patients because it increases the risk of transplant rejection. Although the prevalence of HBV and HCV infection in patients with ESRD has significantly declined over time, it remains at least four times higher than in the general population.