HEPATITIS C VIRUS-ASSOCIATED FIBROSING CHOLESTATIC HEPATITIS AFTER RENAL TRANSPLANTATION: Response to Interferon-α Therapy1


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Abstract

Fibrosing cholestatic hepatitis (FCH) has recently been described after solid organ transplantation in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Typically, FCH is characterized by an ominous clinical course leading to progressive hepatic failure and death if liver transplantation is not performed. Two HCV-infected patients underwent cadaveric renal transplantation for end-stage renal disease resulting from membranous nephropathy and diabetic nephropathy. The time intervals between transplantation and the biopsy diagnosis of FCH for the two patients were 7 months and 10 years. Both patients presented with jaundice, hyperbilirubinemia, and mild-to-moderate elevations in serum aspartate aminotransferase. One patient was also found to have type II mixed cryoglobulinemia. Interferon-α therapy was begun after a diagnosis of FCH was established by liver biopsy. Liver test abnormalities normalized rapidly. When cholestatic hepatic deterioration develops in an HCV-infected organ allograft recipient, the diagnosis of FCH should be considered and a liver biopsy performed. Our observations indicate that FCH can respond to antiviral therapy.

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