Liver transplant recipients and prioritization of anti-HCV therapy: An Italian cohort analysis

Simone Lanini, Alessandro Nanni Costa, Paolo A. Grossi, Francesco Procaccio, Andrea Ricci, Maria R. Capobianchi, Norah A. Terrault, Giuseppe Ippolito

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Aims: In patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV), recurrence of infection after liver transplant (LT) is universal and associated with worst survival. We present the results of an Italian cohort to compare the 3-year outcome of HCV-Ab-positive and HCV-Ab-negative LT recipients and to assess the potential interaction between HCV-Ab sero-status and other risk factors for LT failure. Methods: The study is a multicentre cohort including a sample of liver transplant centres. Participant's information was collected at the local level. The best functional form of variables was decided according to the objective methods based on information theory. Association between transplant failure and potential risk factors was assessed in univariate and multivariate Poisson regression model with random intercept. Results: Between June 2007 and May 2009, 1164 LT recipients were enrolled in 16 Italian transplant centres, of them 275 (23.63%) experienced LT failure. Incidence rates of LT failure was 0.32 and 0.23 per 1000 person-days in HCV-Ab-positive and HCV-Ab-negative recipients respectively (P = 0.003). Inferential models according to Akaike information criterion indicated that donor-recipient age difference and donor-recipient sex matching were more informative to predict LT failure than the age and the sex as separate variables. Multivariate analysis provided evidence that HCV-Ab sero-status, time after LT, donor-recipient age difference, donor-recipient sex matching and recipient's MELD score were significantly associated with LT failure. Moreover, the effect of HCV-Ab sero-status on LT failure was modified by the simultaneous action of time after LT and donor-recipient age difference. No interaction was found between recipient's HCV-Ab sero-status and either recipient's MELD or donor-recipient sex matching. Conclusion: In view of the imminent introduction of new anti-HCV therapies, our study provides information to assess which LT recipients should be prioritized for receiving these highly effective, but expensive, new treatments. This is particularly relevant for those clinical settings where healthcare prioritization is endorsed by national authorities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)410-417
Number of pages8
JournalLiver International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Donor-recipient age difference
  • Donor-recipient sex matching
  • Liver graft failure
  • MELD score
  • Multicentre study

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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