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Post-Transplant Liver Stiffness May Predict Fibrosis Risk

In patients with hepatitis C, stiffness identifies two different patterns of fibrosis progression

MONDAY, Jan. 11 (HealthDay News) -- In patients whose hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection recurs after liver transplantation, repeated liver stiffness measurements can distinguish between slow and rapid "fibrosers," according to a study in the January issue of Hepatology.

José A. Carrión, M.D., of the Centro de Investigación Biomédica en Red de Enfermedades Hepáticas y Digestivas in Barcelona, Spain, and colleagues conducted liver stiffness measurements at three, six, nine and 12 months after liver transplantation in 84 patients with HCV infection and 19 HCV-free controls.

At months six, nine, and 12, the researchers found that rapid fibrosers had significantly higher median liver stiffness as measured in kilopascal (9.9, 9.5, and 12.1, respectively) compared to slow fibrosers (6.9, 7.5, and 6.6, respectively). They also found rapid fibrosers had a significantly greater slope of liver stiffness progression compared to slow fibrosers.

"Simple scores including bilirubin and liver stiffness measurements, or donor age and liver stiffness measurements at six months can accurately predict the risk to develop significant fibrosis or portal hypertension in these patients," the authors conclude. "This could be relevant to adopt therapeutic decisions at an early stage of HCV recurrence. Although our results need to be validated by other centers, we believe that these models might be widely used in clinical practice."

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