The spectrum of histopathological findings after SVR to DAA for recurrent HCV infection in liver transplant recipients

Vedha Sanghi, Carlos Romero-Marrero, Gianina Flocco, Rondell P. Graham, Baraa Abduljawad, Fadi Niyazi, Mohammad M. Asfari, Koji Hashimoto, Bijan Eghtesad, K. V.Narayanan Menon, Federico N. Aucejo, Rocio Lopez, Lisa M. Yerian, Daniela S. Allende

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Sustained virological response (SVR) to the treatment of recurrent HCV in liver transplant recipients has excellent clinical outcomes; however, little is known about the effects on allograft histology. The study aimed to assess the histology of the allograft liver. In this single-center, retrospective cohort study, patients with recurrent hepatitis C (HCV) in allograft liver who were cured with antiviral therapy between 2010 and 2016 were identified. Biopsies were reviewed by two liver pathologists blinded to the treatment and SVR status. Paired analysis was performed to compare pre- and post-treatment histological features. Of the 62 patients analyzed, 22 patients received PEGylated interferon/ribavirin (IFN) therapy, while 40 patients received direct-acting antiviral agents (DAA). The mean age was 57 years, 24% were female, and 79% were Caucasian. RNA in situ hybridization testing for HCV and HEV was negative in all the tested patients. Significant reduction in the inflammatory grade of post-treatment biopsy specimens was noted in all subjects (n = 57; p < 0.001) and in the IFN group (n = 21; p = 0.001) but not in the DAA group (p = 0.093). Of all subjects, 21% had worsening stage, 31% had improvement, and 48% had no change in stage. Of the treatment groups, 27% in the IFN and 17% in the DAA groups had worsening stage; however, the results were not statistically significant in all subjects or by treatment modality. Persistent inflammatory infiltrates and fibrosis was noted in allograft tissue of patients cured with DAA. Significant improvement in grade was noted in the IFN group, without a significant change in stage.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-347
Number of pages13
JournalVirchows Archiv
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2022


  • Allograft
  • Antiviral
  • Hepatitis
  • Liver
  • RNA in situ hybridization

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology


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