African Americans Fare Worse After Undergoing Liver Transplantation Due to Hepatitis C

Presented Monday, November 2, 2009 at 4:45 pm Eastern Time in Boston, MA

Oct 31, 2009, 17:30 ET from American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases

ALEXANDRIA, Va. and BOSTON, Oct. 31 /PRNewswire/ -- Previous studies have shown that hepatitis C virus (HCV) progresses slower prior to liver transplantation in African Americans than in whites. However, researchers demonstrate in this study, which will be presented at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, that the opposite is true after transplantation, in that recurrent HCV in the transplanted liver progresses faster in African Americans than in whites. "I believe this study highlights the need, in all patients, for early close clinical monitoring, including the use of early protocol biopsies, to identify these patients that have early disease progression post-transplantation," said Jennifer Layden, MD, PhD, principal investigator on this study.

This retrospective multisite cohort study of 771 patients from 5 sites evaluated patients who had a liver transplantation between 1999 and 2008. All patients were transplanted due to liver failure caused by HCV. Data were analyzed at 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years after transplantation.

The researchers found, based on an analysis of liver biopsies performed after transplantation, that African Americans had more severe fibrosis progression and histologic inflammation compared to whites following liver transplantation for HCV. While Hispanics demonstrated similar disease progression after liver transplantation as whites, African Americans more often experienced graft failure and required repeat liver transplantation compared to whites. In addition, the hazard ratio for patient death for African Americans was 1.3, indicating a 30% higher mortality for African Americans compared to whites. The researchers concluded that African Americans who undergo liver transplantation caused by HCV had more severe fibrosis progression and histologic inflammation compared to whites undergoing the same procedure.

"While this study illustrates that HCV histologic progression occurs early and is more aggressive in African Americans, it does not allow a careful analysis of factors that may be contributing to these differences," concluded Dr. Layden, "we are conducting a multi-site prospective study to not only confirm these retrospective findings, but also examine both donor and host factors, including psychosocial, virologic, genetic and immunologic that may contribute to this important health disparity."

Abstract title:

Hepatitis C virus (HCV) progresses more rapidly after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) in African-Americans (AA) compared to whites (W)

About the AASLD

AASLD is the leading medical society focused solely on advancing the science and practice of hepatology and represents more than 3,300 practitioners, researchers, and allied health professionals worldwide. Founded by physicians in 1950, AASLD has upheld the standards of the profession and fostered research that generates treatment options for the millions of patients with liver diseases.

This year's Liver Meeting, held in Boston, Massachusetts, October 30 - November 3, will bring together more than 7,000 researchers from 55 countries. A pressroom will be available from October 31 at the annual meeting. For copies of abstracts and press releases, or to arrange for pre-conference research interviews contact Gregory Bologna at 703-299-9766. To pre-register, call Ann Tracy at 703-299-9766.

Press releases, additional information for the media, and all abstracts are available online at www.aasld.org.

    Media Contact: Gregory Bologna
    703/299-9766
    gbologna@aasld.org
    Press Room: October 31 - November 3, 2009
    Hynes Convention Center, Room 209
    Telephone: (617) 954-2827

    Researcher: Jennifer Layden, MD, PhD
    Email: jlayde1@uic.edu
    Phone: (312) 804-9087

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SOURCE American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases



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