UC Study Offers New Hope For Liver Transplants

About 18,000 people in the U.S. need a liver transplant each year, and new research out of the University of Cincinnati could provide a new path forward.

Khurram Bari, MD, assistant professor in the Division of Digestive Diseases at the UC College of Medicine and a physician at UC Health, says livers from hepatitis C patients who test positive for the antibody made to fight the disease may pose a modest risk of infection and be acceptable for transplantation.

The findings were presented by Bari at the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases during its annual conference, The Liver Meeting, held October 20-24, 2017, in Washington, DC.

Bari looked at 25 organ recipients at UC Medical Center who were tested before and after they received a liver from a donor positive for the hepatitis C virus (HCV) antibody, but without evidence of active infection in the blood, and found only four, or 16 percent, contracted HCV after transplantation.

Three of those four recipients who contracted HCV were treated with direct-acting antiviral therapy, while a fourth recipient died from complications brought on by pulmonary hypertension precluding treatment. The patients were seen between March 2016 and March 2017.

“All donors with hepatitis C are not the same; they don’t have the same risk of infection transmission,” says Bari, also a UC Health physician.

Of the 18,000 patients who need a liver transplant each year, about 7,500 receive one, Bari said. Nearly 15 percent of patients on the waitlist die before receiving a new liver, so increasing the pool of available organs for liver transplantation is a vital necessity.  Read the full story>>


For more information, please visit uchealth.com/transplant.

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