Public Release: 

Hep C infected livers offer similar outcomes to healthy livers in those waiting for liver transplant

Hepatitis C infected livers offer similar outcomes to healthy livers in those waiting for liver transplants

European Association for the Study of the Liver

April 14, 2016, Barcelona, Spain: Data from a new study presented today may help reduce the waiting time for a liver transplant for people with the Hepatitis C virus (HCV). The study, presented at The International Liver Congress™ 2016 in Barcelona, Spain, demonstrated that the medium to long-term outcomes for people with HCV who have received a HCV-positive liver were no different from those who were given a healthy liver.

Since 1995 in the United States, the use of HCV-positive livers for liver transplants in people with HCV has tripled from 2.9% to 9.4% (2013 figure). There are over 8,500 people in Europe1 and over 15,000 people in the United States waiting for a liver transplant currently, with this number expected to increase.2 For example, in the UK, people waiting for liver transplants increased by 12% between 2013 and 2014.3 Furthermore, in the United States approximately 16% of patients die while awaiting a liver transplant.2

"Over the past two decades, mainly due to shortages in organs, the use of HCV positive organs for liver transplantation has tripled" said Professor Zobair Younossi MD, MPH, Chairman of Department of Medicine, Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, VA, USA, and lead study author. "Our study clearly shows that people with HCV who received HCV-positive livers had the same medium to long-term outcomes as people that received healthy livers. As highly effective treatments for HCV are available for transplanted patients, the future of these patients is bright."

The American study selected all adult patients with HCV who underwent liver transplantation between 1995 and 2013 from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. It compared the long-term graft loss and mortality in those who were transplanted from HCV-positive versus HCV-negative.

Of the 33,668 people with HCV receiving a liver transplant selected in the study, 5.7% were given a HCV-positive liver. The study showed that the HCV status of the liver had no effect on the amount of time to post-transplant death.

"This study clearly demonstrates a greater opportunity for use of HCV positive livers over the coming years due to their comparable outcomes with healthy livers" said Professor Tom Hemming Karlsen, EASL Vice-Secretary. "With the number of people waiting for a liver transplant expected to rise, the study results should give hope over the coming years for those on the waiting list."

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About The International Liver Congress™

This annual congress is the biggest event in the EASL calendar, attracting scientific and medical experts from around the world to learn about the latest in liver research. Attending specialists present, share, debate and conclude on the latest science and research in hepatology, working to enhance the treatment and management of liver disease in clinical practice. This year, the congress is expected to attract approximately 10,000 delegates from all corners of the globe. The International Liver Congress™ takes place from April 13 - 17, 2016, at the Fira Barcelona Gran Via, Barcelona, Spain.

About EASL

Since EASL's foundation in 1966, this not-for-profit organisation has grown to over 4,000 members from all over the world, including many of the leading hepatologists in Europe and beyond. EASL is the leading liver association in Europe, having evolved into a major European Association with international influence, with an impressive track record in promoting research in liver disease, supporting wider education and promoting changes in European liver policy.

Contact

For more information, please contact the ILC Press Office at:

Email: ILCpressoffice@ruderfinn.co.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)7841 009 252

Onsite location reference

Liver transplantation, Hall 8.0-B3

Thursday 14 April, 16:00 - 18:00

Presenter: Zobair Younossi, USA

bstract: PS040, Long-term outcomes in liver transplant recipients transplanted from HCV-positive donors

Author disclosures of interest

Consultant to BMS, Abbvie, Gilead, GSK and Intercept

References

1 European Commission. Organ donation and transplantation: Facts and figures. Published November 2014. Available from: http://ec.europa.eu/health/blood_tissues_organs/docs/ev_20141126_factsfigures_en.pdf. Last accessed: March 2016.

2 Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network. Annual Data Report 2011: Liver. Available from: http://srtr.transplant.hrsa.gov/annual_reports/2011/pdf/03_%20liver_12.pdf. Last accessed: March 2016.

3 The Hepatitis C Trust. Liver transplant statistics. Available from: http://www.hepctrust.org.uk/liver-transplant-statistics. Last accessed: March 2016.

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