Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 21241754
J. Hepatol. 2011 Aug;55(2):474-82
Transplantation is the best treatment for end-stage organ failure. Hepatitis virus infections, mainly hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infections still constitute a major problem because they are common in allograft recipients and are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality after transplantation. Recently, hepatitis E virus infection has been added as an emergent cause of chronic hepatitis in organ transplantation. The prevalence of HBV and HCV infections has markedly decreased in patients who are candidates for transplantation since the introduction of screening, hygiene and prevention measures, including systematic screening of blood and organ donations, use of erythropoietin, compliance with universal hygiene rules, segregation of HBV-infected patients from non-infected patients and systematic vaccination against HBV. A liver biopsy is preferable to non-invasive biochemical and/or morphological tests of fibrosis to evaluate liver fibrosis before and even after transplantation. Treatment with entecavir or tenofovir is indicated in HBV-infected dialyzed patients who have moderate or severe disease (≥A2 or F2 on the Metavir scale) in preparation for renal transplantation. Due to the risks of severe reactivation, fibrosing cholestatic hepatitis or histological deterioration after transplantation, systematic use of nucleoside or nucleotide analogues shortly before or at the time of transplantation is recommended (tenofovir or entecavir are preferable to lamivudine) in all patients, whatever the baseline histological evaluation. In HCV-infected dialyzed patients who are not candidates for renal transplantation, the indication for antiviral therapy is limited to significant fibrosis (fibrosis ≥2 on the Metavir scale). Treatment must be proposed to all candidates for renal transplantation, whatever their baseline histopathology, and interferon-α should be used as monotherapy. After transplantation, interferon-α is contraindicated but may be used in patients for whom the benefits of antiviral treatment clearly outweigh the risks, especially that of allograft rejection. All cirrhotic patients, notably after solid organ transplantation, should be screened for hepatocellular carcinoma. Sustained suppression of necro-inflammation may result in regression of cirrhosis, which in turn may lead to decreased disease-related morbidity and improved survival. Finally, due to the high mortality after renal transplantation, active (namely without sustained viral suppression) cirrhosis should be considered a contraindication to kidney transplantation, but an indication to combined liver-kidney transplantation; on the contrary, inactive (namely with sustained viral suppression) compensated cirrhosis may permit renal transplantation alone. Organ transplantations other than kidney (cardiac or pulmonary transplantations) involve the same diagnosis and therapeutic issues.