Progression of liver fibrosis in post-transplant hepatitis C: mechanisms, assessment and treatment

2013 Journal of Hepatology 58;5 (1028-1041)

Liver fibrosis results from an excessive wound healing response in most chronic liver diseases, such as hepatitis C. Despite great advances in antiviral therapy in recent years, progressive liver fibrosis remains a major problem for patients with recurrent hepatitis C after liver transplantation. Liver biopsy remains a central tool in the management of HCV-positive liver transplant recipients, but reliable non-invasive methods for the assessment of liver fibrosis, such as ultrasound elastography, are increasingly being incorporated in the management of post-transplant patients, helping predict prognosis, guide treatment decisions, and stratify patients for emerging antifibrotic therapies. In this manuscript, we will review the natural history as well as tools to monitor fibrosis progression in the HCV-positive liver transplant recipient, the mechanisms underlying rapid fibrosis progression in up to 30% of these patients, the effect of antiviral therapies and highlight promising antifibrotic approaches.

Pubmed : 23262248