Medication can block the recurrence of hepatitis C in patients who undergo a liver transplant.
Patients with hepatitis C virus infection who received an antiviral drug around the time they underwent liver transplantation saw a high rate of sustained virologic response, according to a Northwestern Medicine phase II clinical trial. The finding suggests that the therapy might be an effective approach to preventing reinfection in such patients.
Josh Levitsky, MD, MS, professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, was the corresponding author of the paper, published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
Infection with the blood-borne hepatitis C virus (HCV) can lead to severe liver damage. As such, HCV-associated cirrhosis is currently the leading indication for liver transplantation. But because almost all patients with the virus experience a recurrence of infection after they receive a transplant, there tend to be high rates of graft failure.
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