Boceprevir in liver transplant recipients

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Background:There has been increasing interest in using protease inhibitors with pegylated interferon and ribavirin to treat recurrent hepatitis C (HCV) disease in liver transplant recipients.Methods:We retrospectively evaluated the safety and efficacy in liver transplant recipients treated for recurrent hepatitis C genotype 1 with the combination of peginterferon, ribavirin and boceprevir.Results:Twenty liver transplant recipients were treated for recurrent hepatitis C. Baseline alanine aminotransferase, total bilirubin and HCV RNA values (± SD) were 67.5 (±50.9) mg/dl, 1.78 (±1.99) U/L, and 16 955 510 (±21 620 675) IU/ml. Anaemia was a common adverse event requiring epoetin in 16 of 20 recipients and ribavirin dose reductions in 17 of 20 recipients. One-third of recipients required a blood transfusion. Filgrastim was used in 11 of 20 patients (55%) and eltrombopag in two of 20 recipients (10%) over the course of treatment. Serum creatinine level increased significantly from a baseline value of 1.33 mg/dl to 1.59 mg/dl at week 20 of boceprevir (P < 0.005). The overall sustained viral response (SVR) was 50%. Of the 14 patients who had a viral load less than 1000 IU/ml at week 4 of boceprevir, the SVR was 71%. The SVR was 83% of the 11 patients who had undetectable viral levels at week 4 of boceprevir.Conclusions:Antiviral therapy utilizing boceprevir in liver transplant recipients requires close monitoring. Anaemia and neutropenia were common requiring growth factors in most recipients. On-treatment viral responses appear promising but long-term data are needed.

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