Hepatitis G virus infection in patients transplanted for cryptogenic cirrhosis: red flag or red herring?
Charlton MR. Brandhagen D. Wiesner RH. Gross JB Jr. Detmer J. Collins M. Kolberg J. Krom RA. Persing DH.
Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, Minnesota 55905, USA.
BACKGROUND. The significance of hepatitis G (HGV) infection in liver transplant recipients is not known. We set out to determine the pre-orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) prevalence, the pre- and postoperative viral titers of HGV, and the allograft histology in patients infected with HGV who underwent OLT for cryptogenic cirrhosis. METHODS. HGV RNA was measured using a research-based branched DNA assay. The assay used a target-specific probe set that was based on the 5'-untranslated region of the HGV genome. Allograft histology was assessed with protocol liver biopsies in all patients who survived longer than 6 months. RESULTS. The preoperative prevalence of HGV infection in recipients transplanted for cryptogenic cirrhosis was 26%. Thirty-seven percent (12 of 33) of recipients who had serum available in the first postoperative month had HGV infection. Mean HGV RNA levels were 9.8 (+/-4.2) (viral molecular equivalents/ml x 10) before OLT and 37.5 (+/-10.7) at 1 year after OLT. In 4 of the 11 cryptogenic recipients in whom HGV RNA was detectable in the first postoperative month, HGV RNA fell to undetectable levels at the most recent follow-up (mean 70 months). Of the five cryptogenic recipients who continue to have measurable HGV RNA, three have unexplained hepatitis histologically. CONCLUSIONS. These findings suggest the following: 1) The prevalence of HGV infection in patients undergoing OLT for cryptogenic cirrhosis is about 25%. 2) In recipients persistently infected with HGV, mean HGV RNA titers increase after OLT. 3) HGV RNA becomes undetectable in about one third of recipients who had detectable HGV RNA in the first month after OLT. 4) Hepatitis of uncertain etiology occurs in 60% (3 of 5) of persistently HGV-infected cryptogenic recipients.
Interferon-alpha for prophylaxis of recurrent viral hepatitis C in liver transplant recipients: a prospective, randomized, controlled trial.
Singh N. Gayowski T. Wannstedt CF. Shakil AO. Wagener MM. Fung JJ. Marino IR.
Veteran's Affairs Medical Center, Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institution, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15240, USA.
BACKGROUND. In a randomized, controlled trial, we sought to determine whether prophylaxis with interferon-alpha for 6 months had an impact on rate, severity, and timing of onset of recurrent hepatitis C virus (HCV) hepatitis in liver transplant recipients and to assess whether interferon use was associated with rejection in liver transplant recipients. METHODS. Twenty-four consecutive liver transplant recipients with HCV were randomized after transplantation to receive either interferon-alpha (3 million U three times weekly) for 6 months or no prophylaxis; median follow-up was 874 days. RESULTS. Recurrent HCV hepatitis (histopathologically proven) developed in 50% (6 of 12) of the interferon-alpha patients versus 42% (5 of 12) of the control patients (P=NS). Severity of recurrence (as assessed by Knodell score on liver biopsies) also did not differ between the two groups (mean 4.0 for interferon-alpha patients versus 3.5 for control patients, P=NS). Interferon-alpha, however, significantly delayed the timing of occurrence of HCV hepatitis; recurrent HCV hepatitis developed a median of 408 days after transplant in the interferon-alpha group versus 193 days in the control group (P=0.05). No difference in graft or patient survival was demonstrated in the two groups. Rejection episodes, treated with corticosteroids, occurred in 50% (6 of 12) of patients in the interferon-alpha group versus 42% (5 of 12) in the control group (P=NS). Corticosteroid resistant rejection (requiring OKT3) occurred in only one study patient (in the control group). CONCLUSIONS. Interferon-alpha in liver transplant recipients for 6 months delayed the occurrence of HCV hepatitis, but did not decrease the incidence nor the severity of HCV hepatitis after transplantation. Interferon-alpha use was not associated with a higher incidence of rejection compared with the control patients.
Lung abcess complicating Legionella micdadei pneumonia in an adult liver transplant recipient: case report and review.
Ernst A. Gordon FD. Hayek J. Silvestri RC. Koziel H.
Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts 02215, USA.
Legionella micdadei (Pittsburgh pneumonia agent) is the second most common cause of Legionella pneumonia, and occurs predominantly in immunocompromised hosts. L micdadei is the cause of nosocomial pneumonia in renal transplant recipients, but has not been described in other adult solid organ transplant recipients. This report describes the first case of L micdadei pneumonia in an adult liver transplant recipient on immunosuppressive therapy. Importantly, this case highlights the difficulties in establishing the diagnosis, as the Legionella urinary antigen is negative, and special culture conditions are required. Furthermore, this case illustrates several atypical clinical features of L micdadei pneumonia in a transplant recipient, including a community acquired mode of transmission, occurrence several years after organ transplantation, and lung abcess formation. The patient was successfully treated with limited surgical resection and quinolone antimicrobial monotherapy.
A 20-year case study of a kidney transplant recipient with chronic active hepatitis C: clinical course and successful treatment for late acute rejection induced by interferon therapy.
Ichikawa Y. Kyo M. Hanafusa T. Kohro T. Kishikawa H. Fukunishi T. Nagano S. Shinji Y.
Department of Urology, Kidney Transplant Center, Hyogo Prefectural Nishinomiya Hospital, Japan.
BACKGROUND. The influence of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection has been discussed in kidney transplantation. Our case study focused on four points: the clinical course of an HCV-infected recipient; the pathogenesis of hepatic disorders in such a patient; interferon (IFN)-alpha therapy; and the risk of IFN-alpha therapy. METHOD. A patient was suspected of acquiring HCV via transfusion at kidney transplant. He was examined several times serologically, virologically, endoscopically, and pathologically during a 20-year follow-up. RESULTS. Abnormal biochemical markers were found within a month after transplantation but recovery occurred without any treatment. Within 3 years postoperatively, hepatic disorder developed including peliosis hepatis, nodular regenerative hyperplasia, and cholestasis. These pathological conditions were ascribed to immunosuppressants: cyclophosphamide and azathioprine. Abnormal chemical markers decreased to normal values for 4 consecutive years with the substitution of cyclophosphamide and azathioprine for mizoribine. During the subsequent 13 years, the patient developed chronic hepatitis with clinical and morphological features of hepatitis C infection. Anti-HCV antibody was positive from the second post-transplant year and HCV genome was detected in the 17th year. IFN-alpha therapy was initiated in the 17th year and resulted in normal transaminase activities with no effect on viremia. However, acute cellular rejection developed. The rejection was steroid resistant but responsive to OKT3. CONCLUSION. HCV might remain latent for approximately 7 years even in kidney recipients unless toxic hepatitis occurs. Hepatotoxic drugs may cause a wide spectrum of liver diseases in HCV carriers as a result of the overload of immunosuppressants on hepatocytes. IFN-alpha could induce acute cellular rejection even in the 17th year. Such acute rejection can be reversible with OKT3.
Clinical course and management of inflammatory bowel disease after liver transplantation.
Befeler AS. Lissoos TW. Schiano TD. Conjeevaram H. Dasgupta KA. Millis JM. Newell KA. Thistlethwaite JR. Baker AL.
Department of Medicine, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.
BACKGROUND: Previous reports investigating the clinical course and management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) after orthotopic liver transplant (OLT) have revealed conflicting results. METHODS: To determine the natural history and course of therapy for liver transplant patients with IBD, we reviewed the records of 35 patients, who underwent OLT between 1985 and 1996 and who had a history of either IBD (29 patients) or primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) without evidence of IBD before OLT (6 patients). Of 29 patients with IBD before OLT, 25 had a history of ulcerative colitis (UC) and 4 had Crohn's disease. Six patients had undergone total colectomy, one subtotal colectomy, and three partial colectomy before OLT. Mean follow-up after OLT was 37+/-6.4 months. Immunosuppression included cyclosporine, prednisone, and azathioprine in 34 patients and tacrolimus and prednisone in 1 patient. RESULTS: After OLT, 17 patients (49%) had quiescent disease and were receiving no additional medications other than standard immunosuppression to prevent organ rejection. Five patients (14%) had mild flares controlled with initiation of 5'-aminosalicylates (5'-ASA), and two patients (6%) required an increase in oral prednisone. Only one patient with PSC, without evidence of IBD before OLT, developed IBD after OLT. No patients required intravenous steroids or surgical intervention for active IBD. CONCLUSIONS: (1) Standard postOLT immunosuppressive agents in patients undergoing OLT with IBD were able to adequately control disease activity after OLT in the majority of patients. (2) IBD flares after OLT were generally well controlled with aminosalicylates or oral steroids. (3) Aminosalicylates were helpful in the clinical management of IBD, even when patients were taking standard doses of steroids, azathioprine, and cyclosporine.
Reversal of hypoxemia by inhaled nitric oxide in children with severe hepatopulmonary syndrome, type 1, during and after liver transplantation.
Durand P. Baujard C. Grosse AL. Gomola A. Debray D. Dousset B. Devictor D.
Unite de Reanimation Pediatrique Polyvalente, Hopital de Bicetre, Paris, France.
BACKGROUND: The hepatopulmonary syndrome with profound hypoxemia is a rare but severe complication for children with liver cirrhosis. It can be reversed by liver transplantation (LT), which is now regarded as a good indication. However, previous reports have described cases of transient or fatal deteriorations of intrapulmonary shunting after pediatric liver transplantation with dramatically worsening hypoxemia. METHODS AND RESULTS: A similar case during and after LT in a 4-year-old girl with severe hepatopulmonary syndrome is described with prompt reversal of hypoxemia by inhaled nitric oxide, which was discontinued definitely until day 14 after LT. CONCLUSIONS: During or after LT, worsening hypoxemia may be improved by using inhaled nitric oxide in pediatric patients undergoing liver transplantation for liver cirrhosis and hepatopulmonary syndrome. The mechanisms are unclear, but may involve mismatching lung ventilation-perfusion. However, additional clinical reports are necessary before accepting these results.
Incidence and outcome of infection by vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus following orthotopic liver transplantation.
Newell KA. Millis JM. Arnow PM. Bruce DS. Woodle ES. Cronin DC. Loss GE. Grewal H. Lissoos T. Schiano T. Mead J. Thistlethwaite JR Jr.
Department of Surgery, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.
Vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus (VRE) has become a significant nosocomial pathogen. For this study, the records of 325 patients who underwent orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) were reviewed. Thirty-four patients were infected by VRE (incidence of 10.5%, 14% in adults vs. 5% in children, P < 0.01). Common features of patients who developed infections with VRE included previous antibiotic use (25 patients, 15 of whom received vancomycin), co-infection by other pathogens (28 patients), and relaparotomy following OLT (20 patients). Pulmonary and/or renal failure preceded infection by VRE in 11 and 4 adult patients, respectively. Biliary complications were exceedingly common in patients infected by VRE (28 patients) and significantly increased the risk of infection by VRE (21.5% vs. 3.1% for patients without biliary complications, P < 0.0001). Mortality associated with VRE infections was high (56% vs. 19% for patients not infected by VRE, P < 0.0005). The most frequent cause of death was sepsis (16 of 19 patient deaths), often polymicrobial. The high incidence of infection by VRE following OLT, the lack of effective antibiotics for the treatment of VRE, and the association of VRE with patient mortality emphasizes the need to define the risk factors associated with VRE infection. We suggest early surgical intervention to treat complications that may predispose patients to infection by VRE.
Successful use of chronic epoprostenol as a bridge to liver transplantation in severe portopulmonary hypertension.
Plotkin JS. Kuo PC. Rubin LJ. Gaine S. Howell CD. Laurin J. Njoku MJ. Lim JW. Johnson LB.
Department of Anesthesiology, University of Maryland Medical Center, Baltimore 21201, USA.
BACKGROUND: Portopulmonary hypertension, defined as mean pulmonary artery pressure >25 mmHg in the presence of a normal pulmonary capillary wedge pressure and portal hypertension, is a known complication of end-stage liver disease that has been associated with high morbidity and mortality at the time of liver transplantation. We have recently reported the successful treatment of portopulmonary hypertension with chronic intravenous epoprostenol and now report the first patient with severe portopulmonary hypertension successfully treated with epoprostenol who subsequently underwent successful liver transplantation. METHODS: A patient with severe portopulmonary hypertension was treated with intravenous epoprostenol, 23 ng/kg/min, for a 4-month period, after which the portopulmonary hypertension resolved and the patient underwent successful liver transplantation. RESULTS: The patient was discharged, continues to do well, and at 3 months is off epoprostenol with near normal pulmonary artery pressures. CONCLUSIONS: Chronic epoprostenol, in conjunction with a multidisciplinary, well-planned perioperative evaluation and treatment plan, may be the answer to a heretofore untreatable disease.
Transmission of hepatitis B virus from hepatitis B core antibody-positive donors in living related liver transplants.
Uemoto S. Sugiyama K. Marusawa H. Inomata Y. Asonuma K. Egawa H. Kiuchi T. Miyake Y. Tanaka K. Chiba T.
Department of Transplantation Immunology, Faculty of Medicine, Kyoto University, Japan.
BACKGROUND: In order to clarify the risk of hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission from hepatitis B core antibody-positive (HBcAb(+)) donors and to evolve a new strategy to counter such a risk, we undertook a retrospective (1990-1995) and prospective (1995-1996) analysis of our experience with living related liver transplantation involving HBcAb(+) donors. METHODS: Between June 15, 1990, and June 30, 1995, HBcAb(+) individuals were not excluded as donor candidates at our institutions. For 171 liver transplants, 16 donors were HBcAb(+). Between July 1, 1995, and June 30, 1996, HBcAb(+) individuals were generally excluded as donor candidates; however, three recipients were given liver grafts from HBcAb(+) donors because other donor candidates presented even higher risks. In the latter period, recipients with transplants from HBcAb(+) donors underwent prophylactic passive immunization with hyperimmune hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG). The serum of 10 HBcAb(+) donors was examined by nested polymerase chain reaction for the presence of HBV-DNA, but it was not detected in any of them. However, the same examination of the liver tissue of five such donors yielded positive results in all cases. RESULTS: In the first 5-year period, out of 16 recipients with HBcAb(+) donors, 15 became hepatitis B surface antigen-positive after transplant. The three recipients with HBcAb(+) donors during the second 1-year period, who were treated by prophylactic passive immunization with HBIG, remained hepatitis B surface antigen-negative and negative for serum HBV-DNA after transplant. CONCLUSIONS: HBV exists in the liver of healthy HBcAb(+) individuals, but not in the blood. Therefore, HBV is thought to be transmitted to recipients by liver grafts from the HBcAb(+) donors at a significantly high rate. The prevention of viral activation and clinical disease development by means of passive immunization with HBIG seems promising, although the follow-up period in our study may be too short for any definitive conclusions.
Orthotopic liver transplantation in high-risk patients: risk factors associated with mortality and infectious morbidity.
Gayowski T. Marino IR. Singh N. Doyle H. Wagener M. Fung JJ. Starzl TE.
Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.
BACKGROUND: One of the most controversial areas in patient selection and donor allocation is the high-risk patient. Risk factors for mortality and major infectious morbidity were prospectively analyzed in consecutive United States veterans undergoing liver transplantation under primary tacrolimus-based immunosuppression. METHODS: Twenty-eight pre-liver transplant, operative, and posttransplant risk factors were examined univariately and multivariately in 140 consecutive liver transplants in 130 veterans (98% male; mean age, 47.3 years). RESULTS: Eighty-two percent of the patients had postnecrotic cirrhosis due to viral hepatitis or ethanol (20% ethanol alone), and only 12% had cholestatic liver disease. Ninety-eight percent of the patients were hospitalized at the time of transplantation (66% United Network for Organ Sharing [UNOS] 2, 32% UNOS 1). Major bacterial infection, posttransplant dialysis, additional immunosuppression, readmission to intensive care unit (P=0.0001 for all), major fungal infection, posttransplant abdominal surgery, posttransplant intensive care unit stay length of stay (P
Liver transplantation for decompensated cirrhosis after jejunoileal bypass: a strategy for management.
Markowitz JS. Seu P. Goss JA. Yersiz H. Markmann JF. Farmer DG. Ghobrial RM. Goldstein LI. Martin P. Stribling R. Busuttil RW.
Department of Surgery, UCLA Medical Center, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.
BACKGROUND: Although jejunoileal bypass results in end-stage liver disease in up to 100% of patients, little is known about outcome after liver transplantation. METHODS: The clinical courses of six patients who underwent liver transplantation at UCLA for decompensated cirrhosis owing to a jejunoileal bypass were reviewed. Liver function, allograft pathology, renal function, and nutritional status were assessed. RESULTS: Of the four patients with an intact jejunoileal bypass, two of the three who were biopsied had recurrent steatotic liver disease. The two patients whose jejunoileal bypass was reversed at the time of liver transplantation had lower alkaline phosphatase, lower creatinine, higher albumin, and higher cholesterol, and were more obese than their counterparts with intact bypasses. CONCLUSIONS: Patients undergoing liver transplantation for jejunoileal bypass-associated liver disease should, if possible, have their bypass reversed at the time of transplantation; otherwise, they must be followed closely and be biopsied routinely. Recurrent liver disease should prompt reversal of the jejunoileal bypass.
Donor iliac vein interposition during liver transplantation in a patient with a migrated transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt.
Farney AC. Gamboa P. Payne WD. Gruessner RW.
Department of Surgery, University of Minnesota Medical School, Minneapolis, 55455, USA.
BACKGROUND: Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunts (TIPS) are sometimes used to reduce the risk of variceal bleeding or treat intractable ascites before orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). TIPS usually do not make OLT more difficult, but rarely, malposition of TIPS can significantly complicate OLT. METHOD and RESULTS: The following report describes a patient in whom an initially well-placed Wallstent migrated to the confluence of the splenic and superior mesenteric veins. During liver transplantation, the portal vein containing the Wallstent was completely resected, and the portal vein was reconstructed with donor iliac vein. After sewing the iliac vein onto the portal remnant, the liver transplant was completed under portosystemic bypass. The patient had an uneventful recovery. CONCLUSIONS: Wallstents can migrate within the portal vein. An interposition graft of donor vein allows full resection of the portal vein containing a migrated stent and facilitates portosystemic bypass and portal anastomosis.
Liver transplantation with cavoportal hemitransposition in the presence of diffuse portal vein thrombosis.
Tzakis AG. Kirkegaard P. Pinna AD. Jovine E. Misiakos EP. Maziotti A. Dodson F. Khan F. Nery J. Rasmussen A. Fung JJ. Demetris A. Ruiz PJ.
Department of Surgery, University of Miami School of Medicine, Florida 33116, USA.
BACKGROUND: Orthotopic liver transplantation is possible even in the presence of recipient portal vein thrombosis, provided that hepatopetal portal flow to the graft can be restored. On rare occasions this is not possible due to diffuse thrombosis of the portal venous system. In these cases, successful liver transplantation has been considered impossible. Portocaval transposition was introduced in the pretransplantation era to study the effect of systemic venous flow on the liver and has been used in three patients for the treatment of glycogen storage disease. We used portocaval hemitransposition (portal perfusion with inflow from the inferior vena cava) in liver transplantation when portal inflow to the graft was not feasible. We are reporting the collective experience of nine patients from four liver transplant centers. METHODS: Cavoportal hemitransposition was used in nine patients. In seven of these cases, the technique was used during the original transplant (primary group). In two cases, it was used after the portal inflow to the first transplant had clotted (secondary group). RESULTS: Five of seven patients in the primary group are alive after intervals of 6-11 months. The two patients in the rescue group died. In the successful cases, liver function and histology were indistinguishable from those of conventional liver transplantation. Ascites disappeared within 3-4 months and the patients were able to return to their normal activities. Postoperative variceal bleeding necessitated splenectomy and gastric devascularization in one case and splenic artery embolization in another case. Bleeding was controlled in both these cases. Splenectomy and gastric devascularization were performed prophylactically in one patient with a history of variceal bleeding in order to prevent this complication after transplantation. CONCLUSION: Portocaval hemitransposition maybe useful in liver transplantation when hepatopetal flow to the liver graft cannot be established by other techniques. Rescue after failure of conventional technique was not possible in two patients.
Harmful long-term impact of hepatitis C virus infection in kidney transplant recipients.
Legendre C. Garrigue V. Le Bihan C. Mamzer-Bruneel MF. Chaix ML. Landais P. Kreis H. Pol S.
Service de Transplantation, Hopital Necker, Paris, France.
BACKGROUND: The long-term impact of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection in renal transplant recipients remains controversial. We report here our experience, in a homogeneous single center, of 499 patients with a fairly long follow-up. METHODS: We retrospectively studied 499 hepatitis B virus-negative patients who received an initial cadaver donor kidney transplantation at Necker Hospital between January 1, 1979 and December 31, 1994, with a graft or patient survival of at least 6 months. Anti-HCV antibodies were detected at time of transplantation in 112 patients (22%). Patient survival and causes of death were compared among anti-HCV-positive and -negative patients RESULTS: Our results clearly indicate that first cadaver kidney transplant recipients with anti-HCV antibodies had a significantly shorter patient and graft long-term survival than recipients without anti-HCV antibodies (P
Living-related liver transplantation and neurological outcome in children with fulminant hepatic failure.
Hattori H. Higuchi Y. Tsuji M. Inomata Y. Uemoto S. Asonuma K. Egawa H. Kiuchi T. Furusho K. Yamaoka Y. Tanaka K.
Department of Pediatrics, Kyoto University School of Medicine, Japan.
BACKGROUND: Fulminant hepatic failure (FHF) in children is associated with high mortality under medical management. Living-related liver transplantation (LRLT) is an accepted measure to treat the children with end-stage liver disease. Reversibility of hepatic encephalopathy is crucial for the quality of life among the survivors after transplantation. METHODS: A retrospective review was made of the records of children undergoing LRLT at this hospital between May 1992 and November 1996. RESULTS: Eleven children with FHF underwent emergency LRLT. The mean age was 5 years (range, 2 months to 15 years). The indication for transplantation was persistent or worsening hepatic encephalopathy and severe coagulopathy, despite repeated plasma exchanges or exchange transfusions. The cause of FHF was non-A, non-B hepatitis in seven children, hepatitis B in two children, herpes simplex virus hepatitis in one child, and fulminant Wilson's disease with intravascular hemolysis in one child. The grade of hepatic encephalopathy was II in four children, III in two, and IV in five. The actuarial survival rate was 73% after a mean follow-up of 28 months (range, 13-67 months). Short-term neurological morbidity was present in two children with grade IV encephalopathy who also showed brain edema on cranial computed tomography. Eight survivors exhibited no long-term neurological deficit; the mean intelligence or developmental quotient was 97 (range, 86-110) at the end of the follow-up period. CONCLUSIONS: LRLT is an effective option for the treatment of FHF in children. The long-term neurological status is satisfactory among survivors.
Human hepatocytes produce an isoform of FAS that inhibits apoptosis.
Krams SM. Fox CK. Beatty PR. Cao S. Villanueva JC. Esquivel CO. Martinez OM.
Department of Surgery, Stanford University School of Medicine, California 94305, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
BACKGROUND: Fas (Apo-1/CD95), a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor family, can mediate apoptosis when engaged by its ligand or by anti-Fas antibody. Fas is expressed by cells of the immune system and by some nonlymphoid tissues. Numerous studies have suggested that the Fas pathway may play a role in the rejection of allografts. Functional, soluble forms of the Fas receptor are produced by activated peripheral blood mononuclear cells and some transformed cell lines. The purpose of this study was to determine if soluble variants of Fas are produced in the liver and to determine if blockade of the Fas pathway, by liver-derived soluble Fas, inhibits Fas-mediated apoptosis. METHODS: Liver and purified hepatocyte specimens were analyzed for Fas transcripts by reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction with primers that span the transmembrane region of the molecule. Bile and cell lysates were analyzed for soluble Fas by specific enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Lysates were prepared from normal liver and hepatocytes and utilized to block Fas-mediated apoptosis of Jurkat cells as determined by terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated dUTP nick-end labeling and flow cytometry. RESULTS: A variant form of Fas is abundantly expressed in normal liver and purified hepatocytes. This variant form of Fas is expressed in all normal liver specimens but only in half of the liver specimens obtained during allograft rejection. The levels of soluble Fas diminish in patients undergoing liver allograft rejection in contrast to patients with stable grafts. Importantly, a soluble form of Fas is produced in the liver by hepatocytes and can specifically inhibit Fas-mediated apoptosis. CONCLUSION: These data raise the possibility that soluble Fas, produced by hepatocytes, may influence the immune response by blocking Fas-mediated apoptosis and, thus, may have a role in liver transplantation.
Pretransplant hepatitis C virus infection: a predictor of proteinuria after renal transplantation.
Hestin D. Guillemin F. Castin N. Le Faou A. Champigneulles J. Kessler M.
Department of Nephrology, University Hospital of Nancy, France.
BACKGROUND: Reports have suggested that hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected kidney recipients may develop de novo glomerular lesions caused by the virus. We studied the relationships between pretransplantation anti-HCV antibodies and the occurrence of proteinuria and the link with short- and long-term patient and graft survival. METHODS: A total of 322 consecutive renal recipients treated at a single center from 1989 to 1994 whose sera were routinely assayed for anti-HCV antibodies at the time of transplantation were analyzed. The risks of persistent proteinuria (>1 g/day), graft loss, or death were estimated by Kaplan-Meier analysis. The relationship between clinical variables and each outcome was examined by Cox multivariate regression analysis. RESULTS: Before transplantation, 9.6% of the recipients were anti-HCV antibody positive. Persistent proteinuria developed in 13.6% recipients. The presence of anti-HCV antibodies was strongly associated with proteinuria (relative risk [RR]=5.36, 95% confidence interval [CI]=2.49-11.51). Proteinuria occurred more frequently in second grafts (RR=2.64, 95% CI=1.10-6.29). The number of HLA-A,B mismatches was an independent risk factor (RR=1.55, 95% CI=1.10-2.19). Recipient age (RR=0.80, 95% CI=0.63-1.02) and duration of dialysis (RR=0.86, 95% CI=0.77-0.96) were protective factors. Histology of biopsies from 26/44 recipients with proteinuria showed that de novo glomerular lesions were more frequent in HCV-positive patients, although the difference was not significant. One- and five-year graft survival rates were significantly worse in patients with proteinuria (90.7% and 41.1%) than in patients without it (95.6% and 91.8%) (P
Long-term outcome of patients transplanted with livers from hepatitis C-positive donors.
Testa G. Goldstein RM. Netto G. Abbasoglu O. Brooks BK. Levy MF. Husberg BS. Gonwa TA. Klintmalm GB.
Transplantation Services, Baylor University Medical Center, Dallas, Texas 75246, USA.
BACKGROUND: The use of hepatitis C serology-positive donors has become an option in patients affected by hepatitis C (Hep C) end-stage liver disease. Previous studies with less than 1 year of follow-up have suggested that there is no difference in early patient and graft survival. The aim of our review is to confirm with a longer follow-up (a minimum of 1 year) that the use of these organs is safe and that patient and graft survival are comparable to those of patients with Hep C who received Hep C-negative grafts. METHODS: Between 1985 and 1995, 213 patients were transplanted with a diagnosis of Hep C. Seventy-six patients were excluded from the study, 47 for insufficient follow-up and 29 because the diagnosis of recurrence was not certain. Twenty-two patients received Hep C+ donor grafts and 115 patients received Hep C-donor grafts. These two groups were evaluated to assess the rate and severity of recurrence by serial biopsies and to assess patient and graft survival. RESULTS: Recurrent Hep C was documented by biopsy in 12 of 22 patients who received Hep C+ donor grafts. Of these 12 patients, 9 had mild chronic hepatitis, 2 had fibrosis, and 1 had cirrhosis. Ten of the 22 patients had normal biopsies. Of the patients who received Hep C- grafts, 48 of 115 had recurrent disease. Of these 48 patients, 23 had mild chronic hepatitis, 15 had fibrosis, and 10 had cirrhosis. Sixty-seven of 115 had normal biopsies. The recurrence rate was 54.55% in the Hep C+ donor grafts and 41.74% in the Hep C- donor grafts (P=NS). Patient and graft survival at 4 years after transplant were 83.9% and 71.9% in the Hep C+ donor grafts and 79.1% and 76.2% in the Hep C- donor grafts, respectively (P=NS). CONCLUSIONS: Our study suggests that Hep C+ donors can be used with excellent long-term results and that the progression of the recurrent disease does not seem to be affected by the pre-existence of the Hep C virus in the donor.
Impact of hepatitis C virus duration and hepatitis C virus genotypes on renal transplant patients: correlation with clinicopathological features.
Rostaing L. Izopet J. Cisterne JM. Arnaud C. Duffaut M. Rumeau JL. Puel J. Durand D.
Multi-Organ Transplant Unit, Toulouse University Hospital, France.
BACKGROUND: The aim of this study was to evaluate the long-term impact of chronic hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection on the liver in renal transplant patients. METHODS: We studied 78 patients for whom at least one posttransplant liver biopsy (LB) was available and for whom the duration of HCV infection was precisely defined. The LB were graded according to a histological activity index, i.e., the Knodell score, divided into the activity score and the fibrosis score. They were also classified as either normal or showing evidence of chronic persistent hepatitis, chronic active hepatitis (CAH), or cirrhosis. RESULTS: The study comprised 7 HCV-positive/hepatitis B surface antigen-positive patients (group 1); 4 HCV-positive/RNA-negative patients (group 2); and 67 HCV-positive/RNA-positive patients (group 3). The three groups were comparable according to demographic data and baseline immunosuppression. The median time from transplantation to LB was 38 months (range, 10-306 months). At that time, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels had increased in 71.4%, 0%, and 42% of patients from groups 1, 2, and 3, respectively (P=0.07). The total Knodell score showed significantly more severe lesions in group 1 patients (6.2+/-3.2) than in group 2 (1+/-1.2) or in group 3 (4.6+/-2.4) patients (P=0.007). The Knodell score also showed that the fibrosis score was significantly higher in group 1 (2.3+/-1.6) than in group 2 (0) or in group 3 (0.9+/-1.1) patients (P=0.007). Overall, there were 28 cases of CAH (36%) and 4 cases of cirrhosis (5%). We did not observe any correlation between liver histology and characteristics of HCV infection or the type of chronic immunosuppression (double-drug versus triple-drug therapy). However, liver histology (total Knodell score) and the activity score were significantly correlated with ALT levels. Multivariate analysis did identify (i) four independent variables that could explain the degree of liver fibrosis-the sex of the patient, the number of blood units received before transplantation, increased ALT levels at the time of LB, and the occurrence of at least one acute rejection episode (thus the receipt of methylprednisolone pulses); and (ii) two independent variables associated with the occurrence of CAH-the number of blood units before transplantation and increased ALT levels at the time of LB. CONCLUSION: This study showed that renal transplant patients infected by HCV for more than 10 years, with a mean posttransplant follow-up of more than 5 years, showed more severe liver lesions when coinfected by hepatitis B virus. Overall, we observed only four cases of cirrhosis (5%) and evidence of histological CAH lesions in 36% of the patients.
Resolution of spur cell anemia with liver transplantation: a case report and review of the literature.
Chitale AA. Sterling RK. Post AB. Silver BJ. Mulligan DC. Schulak JA.
Department of Medicine, University Hospitals of Cleveland, Case Western Reserve University, Ohio, USA.
Spur cell anemia is an acquired hemolytic anemia, characterized by an increased percentage of abnormally shaped erythrocytes that are known as acanthocytes. The erythrocytes have numerous spicules irregularly distributed over the cell surface. Spur cell anemia has been described to occur in several conditions, including cirrhosis. We present an unusual case of a young patient with hemochromatosis, alcohol abuse, decompensated cirrhosis, and spur cell anemia who had a spontaneous resolution of the spur cell anemia after orthotopic liver transplantation. This finding suggests that the diseased liver may contribute to transformation of the erythrocyte to the spur cell.
Risks associated with conversion of stable patients after liver transplantation to the microemulsion formulation of cyclosporine.
Freise CE. Galbraith CA. Nikolai BJ. Ascher NL. Lake JR. Stock PG. Roberts JP.
Department of Surgery, University of California, San Francisco 94143, USA.
BACKGROUND: Neoral is a microemulsion formulation of cyclosporine that has a better pharmacokinetic profile than the standard formulation (Sandimmune). To prove the safety of converting stable liver transplant patients from Sandimmune to Neoral, we conducted a prospective trial involving 54 patients. METHOD: The average time from transplantation to conversion was 48.5+/-21.6 months. Thirty of 54 patients (55%) required a dose reduction during the study for various reasons. Five of 30 patients had the first dose reduction because of increased levels of cyclosporine. Seven patients required more than one dose reduction. RESULTS: Sixteen patients suffered serious adverse events. Six patients had a biopsy-proven rejection. Four of 6 patients had trough cyclosporine levels within 20% of baseline value immediately before developing rejection. CONCLUSION: Converting patients from the standard formulation to the microemulsion formulation of cyclosporine seems to expose stable patients to unnecessary risks.
Successful treatment of severe hepatitis C-associated pulmonary vasculitis in a liver transplant recipient.
Limaye AP. Schmidt RA. Glenny RW. Davis CL. Kowdley KV.
Department of Laboratory Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle 98195, USA.
BACKGROUND: We report the clinical course of a patient who developed fever, hypoxia, and bilateral pulmonary infiltrates two and a half years after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) for cirrhosis due to hepatitis C. The patient had a history of hepatitis C-associated vasculitis manifested by purpuric skin rashes, renal abnormalities, and elevated cryoglobulins, and was receiving interferon-alpha at the time of presentation. RESULTS: The results of bronchoscopy with bronchoalveolar lavage were unrevealing, and open lung biopsy revealed active small vessel vasculitis. The patient responded dramatically to plasmapheresis and the addition of high-dose corticosteroids with resolution of hypoxia, pulmonary infiltrates, and glomerulonephritis. This is, to our knowledge, the first report of the successful treatment of hepatitis C-associated pulmonary vasculitis after OLT. CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that hepatitis C-associated pulmonary vasculitis should be included in the differential diagnosis of a patient presenting with fever, hypoxia, and pulmonary infiltrates after OLT for hepatitis C. Treatment with plasmapheresis and high-dose corticosteroids may be effective in patients with this disorder.
Peloisis hepatis due to Bartonella henselae in transplantation: a hemato-hepato-renal syndrome.
Ahsan N. Holman MJ. Riley TR. Abendroth CS. Langhoff EG. Yang HC.
Department of Medicine, The Milton S. Hershey Medical Center, Pennsylvania State University, College of Medicine, Hershey 17033, USA.
BACKGROUND: Bacillary peliosis hepatis is an uncommon but well recognized disease due to disseminated Bartonella infections occurring predominantly in immunocompromised individuals infected with human immunodeficiency virus, type 1. A similar condition in the absence of Bartonella infection when described in organ transplant patients was felt to be secondary to azathioprine and/or cyclosporine. METHODS: Herein, we report the first case of bacillary peliosis hepatis due to systemic Bartonella henselae infection in a patient after kidney transplant. The patient presented with severe anemia, persistent thrombocytopenia, and hepato-renal syndrome. DNA-based polymerase chain reactions (PCR), which allowed direct detection of both B henselae and quintana DNA in patient's peripheral blood and liver tissue, were used. Indirect immunofluorescence assay for Bartonella serology was performed on peripheral blood. RESULTS: Histopathology of the liver biopsy demonstrated peliosis hepatis. Indirect immunofluorescence assay for Bartonella serology was positive, and B henselae DNA was identified by PCR in the peripheral blood and liver tissue. Treatment with a 3-month course of oral erythromycin resulted in an excellent clinical response. CONCLUSIONS: The present case suggests that although various anti-rejection therapies and opportunistic infections are associated with hepatic and renal dysfunction along with bone marrow suppression, the diagnostic evaluation in this situation should include liver biopsy and a careful search for evidence of systemic Bartonella infection, e.g., exposure to cats, Bartonella serology, and Bartonella DNA by PCR. A reduction in immunosuppression and prolonged therapy with antibiotics such as erythromycin will often result in early recovery.
Timing and severity of initial hepatitis C recurrence as predictors of long-term liver allograft injury.
Rosen HR. Gretch DR. Oehlke M. Flora KD. Benner KG. Rabkin JM. Corless CL.
Department of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University and Portland Veterans Affairs Medical Center, 97207, USA.
BACKGROUND: The majority of patients infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) undergoing liver transplantation develop evidence of histologic recurrence, and multiple mechanisms are likely poised to affect long-term allograft injury. The purpose of this analysis was to study the hypothesis that histologic and biochemical features at the onset of HCV recurrence predict the long-term evolution of allograft hepatitis. METHODS: We studied 34 consecutive liver transplant recipients with evidence of histologic HCV recurrence and with a minimal histologic follow-up of 1 year (up to 6.2 years; mean: 696+/-83.2 days). Two-hundred and seventy-eight serial allograft biopsies (mean: 6.85+/-0.62 per patient, range: 4-21) were analyzed. The hepatic activity index was utilized to quantitate piecemeal necrosis, intralobular degeneration, portal inflammation, and hepatic fibrosis. The presence of hepatocyte ballooning degeneration and cholestasis was also assessed. RESULTS: Although there was no significant difference with regard to initial hepatic activity index scores between patients who ultimately developed allograft cirrhosis (group 1; n=8) versus those with milder hepatitis (group 2; n=26), the finding of ballooning degeneration/cholestasis was more frequent in the former group (P=0.04). The distribution of HCV genotypes, the mean follow-up after orthotopic liver transplantation, the mean number of allograft biopsy specimens per patient, basal immunosuppression, and incidence of rejection were comparable in both groups. Patients who ultimately developed allograft cirrhosis had significantly higher initial total bilirubin at the onset of histologic recurrence and peak total bilirubin (pT.Bili, the highest value in the ensuing month). Actuarial rates of moderate-to-severe allograft hepatitis were significantly greater in patients with pT.Bili > or = 3.5 mg/dl (P=0.004). Multiple regression analysis identified pT.Bili as the only independent predictor of allograft cirrhosis. CONCLUSIONS: Features at the onset of histologic HCV recurrence predict the natural history of allograft injury; specifically, marked, transient hyperbilirubinemia is associated with the subsequent development of allograft cirrhosis.
Histological features predictive of recurrence of primary biliary cirrhosis after liver transplantation.
Sebagh M. Farges O. Dubel L. Samuel D. Bismuth H. Reynes M.
Service d'Anatomie Pathologique, Hopital Paul Brousse, Villejuif, France.
BACKGROUND: Recurrence of primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) within liver allografts remains a controversial issue. The aims of this study were to evaluate this risk and to determine the presence, if any, of a predictive histological feature. METHODS: We reviewed the most recent and the 1-year protocol liver biopsies of 69 patients who received transplants for PBC and of 53 control patients. Histological features consistent with PBC recurrence included nonsuppurative destructive cholangitis, mixed portal infiltrate, fibrosis, and ductopenia. A complete evaluation was undertaken in each patient with these histological features. RESULTS: These histological features were present in six patients who received transplants for PBC (8.7% vs. 0% in the control group) and occurred between 1 and 8 years after transplant. In five of the six patients, anti-mitochondrial antibody-2 (anti-M2) antibodies remained at high titers. Cholestasis was present in four patients, and clinical symptoms in two patients. All six patients were negative for hepatitis C antibodies and hepatitis C RNA in their serum. None had bile duct obstruction. The presence of plasma cells in the portal infiltrate at 1 year after transplant was predictive of this risk of recurrence. CONCLUSION: The risk of PBC recurrence is real (8.7%). The presence of plasma cells in the portal infiltrate seems to be an early marker of recurrence of PBC in patients transplanted for this indication.
Interaction between tacrolimus and chloramphenicol in a renal transplant recipient.
Schulman SL. Shaw LM. Jabs K. Leonard MB. Brayman KL.
Department of Pediatrics, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia and University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, 19104, USA.
BACKGROUND: The metabolism of tacrolimus is influenced by several medications when they are given concurrently. We report the interaction between tacrolimus and chloramphenicol in a renal transplant recipient. METHODS: An adolescent with vancomycin-resistant Enterococcus was given standard doses of chloramphenicol. Tacrolimus trough levels increased, and the dose was adjusted to maintain the target trough level. Pharmacokinetic studies were obtained during chloramphenicol administration and 14 days after its discontinuation. RESULTS: Toxic levels of tacrolimus were seen on the second day of chloramphenicol administration, requiring an 83% reduction in the tacrolimus dose. The dose-adjusted area under the curve value for tacrolimus was 7.5-fold greater while the patient was on chloramphenicol. These data are consistent with inhibition of tacrolimus clearance by chloramphenicol CONCLUSIONS: Chloramphenicol interferes with tacrolimus metabolism. Careful monitoring of tacrolimus trough levels during concomitant chloramphenicol therapy is recommended to avoid toxicity.
Comparison of tacrolimus with microemulsion cyclosporine as primary immunosuppression in hepatitis C patients after liver transplantation.
Zervos XA. Weppler D. Fragulidis GP. Torres MB. Nery JR. Khan MF. Pinna AD. Kato T. Miller J. Reddy KR. Tzakis AG.
School of Medicine, Department of Transplantation, University of Miami, Florida 33136, USA.
BACKGROUND: Immunosuppression in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) following orthotopic liver transplantation can lead to significant increases in serum viral loads. Our aim was to analyze the effect of a randomized study of two immunosuppressive agents (tacrolimus vs. microemulsion cyclosporine) on the outcome of HCV patients following orthotopic liver transplantation. METHODS: From December 1995 to September 1996, 50 adult patients transplanted for HCV cirrhosis were randomly assigned to receive tacrolimus (Prograf) (group 1, 25 patients) or microemulsion cyclosporine (Neoral) (group 2, 24 patients). All patients received alpha-interferon after transplantation, and the overall steroid doses were no different between the groups. Serum RNA levels were measured by signal amplification of Chiron. Biopsies were taken when transaminases were greater than 2x base line or when there was an inappropriate response to alterations in immunosuppression regimens. RESULTS: There were more episodes of rejection in the Neoral group, but there were no differences in bacterial and viral infections, nor in the rate of HCV recurrence between the two groups. There were seven deaths in group 1 and eight in group 2. Overall patient and graft survival rates in the Prograf and Neoral groups at 18 months were 72 and 68% and 67 and 64%, respectively. CONCLUSIONS: (a) Both immunosuppression regimens had similar HCV recurrence rates; (b) there were no differences in bacterial or opportunistic infections; and (c) patient and graft survival was similar between the two groups.
Effect of partial HLA class I match on acute rejection in viral pre-infected human liver allograft recipients.
Ontanon J. Muro M. Garcia-Alonso AM. Minguela A. Torio A. Bermejo J. Pons JA. Campos M. Alvarez-Lopez MR.
Immunology Section, Department of Medical Gastro-Enterology, Hospital University Virgen de la Arrixaca, Murcia, Spain.
BACKGROUND: Acute rejection in liver transplants is one of the commonest causes of liver dysfunction in the early postoperative period. However, the factors involved in liver graft rejection are still unknown. Our study was aimed at ascertaining whether the degree of HLA class I and class II compatibility or pretransplant viral infection have any influence on early acute liver graft rejection. METHODS: We reviewed clinical and laboratory data in 190 consecutive patients who underwent a liver transplant. HLA-A, HLA-B, and HLA-DR typing for the establishment of an HLA match score was performed by a standard microcytotoxicity method. The existence of pretransplant viral infection was investigated in sera and biopsy tissue by serologic (hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus) and polymerase chain reaction (cytomegalovirus) techniques, respectively. The influence of these two factors in acute rejection and the interaction between them was also analyzed. RESULTS: A strong association between viral infection and acute rejection in the group with partial class I matching was found (odds ratio=7.75; P
High incidence of antitissue antibodies in patients experiencing chronic liver allograft rejection.
Dubel L. Farges O. Johanet C. Sebagh M. Bismuth H.
Centre Hepatobiliaire et de Transplantation Hepatique, Hopital Paul Brousse Universite Paris Sud, Villejuif, France.
BACKGROUND: The precise immunologic mechanisms responsible for chronic rejection of liver allografts are unknown. We have recently shown in a rodent model that recipients of liver allografts developed non-major histocompatibility complex antitissue antibodies. The aim of the present study was to test this hypothesis in the clinical setting. METHODS: Posttransplant sera of 14 patients undergoing chronic rejection and of 48 control patients (12 liver transplant patients with chronic active hepatitis or liver cirrhosis related to hepatitis C virus [HCV] infection and without chronic rejection, 10 with sclerosing cholangitis, and 26 with normal liver function tests and liver biopsy) were tested for the presence of antitissue antibodies by indirect immunofluorescence. Pretransplant sera of all these patients lacked antitissue antibodies. RESULTS: Antitissue antibodies were detected in 71% of patients who developed chronic rejection (before or at the time of chronic rejection). This incidence was significantly greater than that observed in patients not undergoing rejection (HCV-related chronic active hepatitis, 16%; sclerosing cholangitis, 0%; normal liver biopsy, 7%). All these autoantibodies were directed against the smooth muscle and/or the nucleus. In two patients, anti-smooth muscle antibodies had an antiactin or antivimentin specificity. CONCLUSIONS: These results show a strong association between chronic allograft rejection and the development of antitissue antibodies and suggest that these antibodies could be used to identify patients at high risk of developing chronic rejection after liver transplantation.