Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Liver Transplant and Hepatitis C Data: Sobering Stats

A recent email from HCV Advocate included an item that immediately caught my attention, "HCV Treatment after Liver Transplantation."

The report, recently published in Liver Transplantation, reviewed data on HCV treatment in post liver transplant patients. I gasped when I read one of the statistics noted in the report:
The 5-year survival rate is 30% for those with HCV who have had a liver transplant and have progressed to cirrhosis
Stats like this keep me awake at night. My liver transplant was just more than two years ago and already fibrosis, the precursor to cirrhosis, is present in my liver. Granted, the fibrosis score is fairly low, but Hep C is damaging my new liver.

My recent bout of elevated liver enzymes had me wringing my hands for this very reason - and that's before I saw the stat. Yikes!

The course of Interferon and Ribavirin I took in 2007 didn't clear the Hep C virus from my system. A number of new meds are in development and appear promising. Here's hoping they reach the market soon.

1 comment:

PSPam said...

Hi Jay. Are you going to treat the Hep C? I thought most transplant centers did it within the first year now. What area of the country are you in? I have many friends who have had transplants, treated and cleared and are 10 plus years post transplant. I have one friend who is geno 4 that was transplanted over 12 years ago, never treated and she is doing fine (fibrosis). People progress at different rates for sure but have you talked to your transplant coordinator about treatment or haven't they mentioned it yet to you for other medical reasons? (low red or white blood cells, seizures, depression, etc.) This was a good idea to blog your journey. I hope that it helps many people. If you ever need support please consider joining many of us at http://groups.yahoo.com/group/HepCingles2 It is for married and Cingle "heppers" We would love to have you there. Don't let that 5 year stat panic you. They gave me 2 years until transplant or death in 2001. I plan to continue to "fool" the docs and I am sure that you will too. Keep you glass half full!