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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 25, Issue 8, Pages 445-448
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2011/947838
Review

A Concise Review of Hepatitis C in Heart and Lung Transplantation

Edward Kim,1 Hin Hin Ko,2 and Eric M Yoshida2,3,4

1Gastroenterology Fellowship Program, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
2Division of Gastroenterology, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
3BC Hepatitis Program, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
4BC Transplant Society, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

Received 25 October 2010; Accepted 28 January 2011

Copyright © 2011 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Hepatitis C (HCV) infection is prevalent in recipients of, and candidates for, solid organ transplants. The outcomes of HCV infection in cardiac and lung transplant recipients have yet to be clearly established, and future prospective studies are needed. In the absence of safe and effective antiviral treatment for HCV infection in heart and lung transplant recipients, the management of these patients remains a challenge and must be considered on an individual basis. Interferon therapy for HCV before transplantation appears to improve outcomes; however, post-transplant interferon therapy in the cardiac and pulmonary transplant setting may be associated with an increased risk of graft rejection. Given the paucity of information regarding HCV treatment in these transplant recipients, and with appropriate concerns that graft loss from rejection may not be amenable to a second transplant (given the scarcity of suitable cadaveric organs), multicentre, randomized controlled trials are needed to determine the optimal approach for treatment of HCV infection in this population.