Liver transplantation in the haemophilia patient

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Hepatitis C is a chronic condition that many persons with haemophilia contracted in the 1980s due to the infusion of factor concentrates that did not have viral inactivation processes in place. Many patients with haemophilia are now living longer lives, well into their eighties due to the improvement of their care. The effects of the hepatitis C virus on the liver over time are now being realized as this population ages. Although the new treatments for hepatitis C have a prolonged response, as demonstrated by a persistent negative viral load, many haemophilia patients have either not responded to the therapy or had significant side effects to treatment, which prevented continued therapy. Of these infected haemophiliacs with liver disease, many have demonstrated a slow progressive decline resulting in liver failure, cirrhosis or liver cancer. Liver transplant then becomes their only option. This article will review liver transplantation in the haemophilia patient highlighting three case studies demonstrating the effectiveness of specific short-term factor infusions and other haemostatic support to minimize bleeding during the surgical period. These cases confirm the opportunity for successful liver transplantation for haemophilia patients utilizing specific factor recommendations with minimal bleeding risk.

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