Simeprevir and sofosbuvir with or without ribavirin to treat recurrent genotype 1 hepatitis C virus infection after orthotopic liver transplantation

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Although combination simeprevir (SIM) plus sofosbuvir (SOF) is an approved regimen for genotype 1 chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV), data regarding its safety and efficacy in liver transplant recipients remain limited. A multicenter retrospective study was performed to determine the efficacy and tolerability of a 12-week regimen of SIM/SOF with or without ribavirin (RBV) in 56 consecutive liver transplant recipients in 2014; 79% of patients had genotype 1a, 14% had cirrhosis, and 73% were treatment experienced. Sustained virological response at 12 weeks (SVR12) was 88% by intention to treat analysis (95% confidence interval, 84%-90%). Four patients relapsed, but no on-treatment virological failures occurred. The Q80K polymorphism did not impact SVR12, but there was a trend toward decreased sustained virological response with advanced fibrosis (P = 0.18). HCV RNA was detectable at treatment week 4 in 21% of patients, and those who had detectable levels were less likely to achieve SVR12 (58% versus 95%; P = 0.003). Five patients had baseline Child-Pugh class B cirrhosis, and 2 of them died (1 following early discontinuation of therapy). An additional discontinuation resulted from a severe photosensitivity reaction in a patient on concomitant cyclosporine. Seven patients receiving RBV developed progressive anemia requiring intervention. Immunosuppression dose modifications were minimal. SIM/SOF for 12 weeks was effective and well tolerated by compensated liver transplant recipients especially when administered without concomitant RBV or cyclosporine. SIM/SOF appears to have a niche as the only 12-week RBV-free treatment regimen currently recommended by guidelines for compensated transplant recipients. However, 12 weeks may not be the optimal duration of therapy for those with detectable virus at week 4 or possibly for those with cirrhosis. These data require confirmation by prospective randomized clinical trials. Liver Transplantation 22 635–643 2016 AASLD.

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