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Fibrosing Cholestatic Hepatitis in a Complicated Case of an Adult Recipient After Liver Transplantation: Diagnostic Findings and Therapeutic Dilemma

Tomohide Hori, Yasuharu Onishi, Hideya Kamei, Nobuhiko Kurata, Masatoshi Ishigami, Yoji Ishizu, Yasuhiro Ogura

(Department of Transplant Surgery, Nagoya University Hospital, Nagoya, Japan)

Am J Case Rep 2016; 17:597-604

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.898427

Published: 2016-08-22

BACKGROUND: Hepatitis C recurrence is a serious matter after liver transplantation (LT). Approximately 10% of hepatitis C virus (HCV) positive recipients develop fibrosing cholestatic hepatitis (FCH). FCH rapidly results in graft loss. Currently, direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) are effective and safe for hepatitis C, even after LT. However, only a few cases of successfully treated FCH after LT have been reported. We present FCH in a complicated case with sepsis and portal flow obstruction after LT.
CASE REPORT: A 66-year-old man underwent cadaveric LT. Liver function disorders were observed from post-operative day (POD) 22. Sepsis repeated on POD 38, 74, and 101. Steroid pulse therapy was given from POD 40 to 54. The infectious focus was surgically removed on POD 89. Interventional radiology for portal venous obstruction was completed on POD 96. To make a real-time diagnosis and to investigate the graft condition, repeat liver needle biopsies (LNBs) were taken. Although there was a combined impact of sepsis, portal flow decrease, and recurrent hepatitis C on graft failure, it was interesting that recurrent hepatitis C was consistently detectable from the first LNB. HCV-ribonucleic acid increased on POD 68. Liver function disorders peaked on POD 71 and 72. Jaundice peaked on POD 82. DAA induction was regrettably delayed because of a reluctance to introduce DAAs under conditions of graft dysfunction. DAAs were administered after hospital discharge.
CONCLUSIONS: A real-time and precise diagnosis based on histopathological examination and viral measurement is important for FCH treatment. Well-considered therapy with DAAs should be aggressively introduced for potentially fatal FCH after LT.

Keywords: Hepatitis, Hepatitis C, Liver failure, Liver Transplantation