Meta-analysis of observational studies: Hepatitis C and survival after renal transplant

F. Fabrizi, P. Martin, V. Dixit, P. Messa

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Recent evidence has shown that anti-HCV-positive serologic status is significantly linked to lower patient and graft survival after renal transplant, but conflicting results have been given on this point. The aim of this study was to conduct a systematic review of the published medical literature concerning the impact of HCV infection on all-cause mortality and graft loss after RT. The relative risk of all-cause mortality and graft loss was regarded as the most reliable outcome end-point. Study-specific relative risks were weighted by the inverse of their variance to obtain fixed- and random-effect pooled estimates for mortality and graft loss with HCV across the published studies. We identified eighteen observational studies involving 133 530 unique renal transplant recipients. The summary estimate for adjusted relative risk (aRR) of all-cause mortality was 1.85 with a 95% confidence interval (CI) of 1.49; 2.31 (P <0.0001); heterogeneity statistics, Ri = 0.87 (P-value by Q-test = 0.001). The overall estimate for adjusted RR of all-cause graft loss was 1.76 (95% CI, 1.46; 2.11) (P <0.0001), heterogeneity statistics, Ri = 0.65 (P-value by Q-test = 0.001). Stratified analysis did not change meaningfully these results. Meta-regression showed that living donor rate had a favourable influence on patient (P = 0.031) and graft survival (P = 0.01), whilst diabetes mellitus having a detrimental role on patient survival (P = 0.001). This meta-analysis of observational studies supports the notion that HCV-positive patients after RT have an increased risk of mortality and graft loss. Further studies are in progress to understand better the mechanisms underlying the relationship between HCV and mortality or graft dysfunction after renal transplant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)314-324
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Viral Hepatitis
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • graft loss
  • Hepatitis C renal transplant
  • liver disease
  • survival

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology
  • Medicine(all)


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