Author(s): Haagsma EB, RiezebosBrilman A, van den Berg AP, Porte RJ, Niesters HG
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Abstract Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infections are known to run a self-limiting course. Recently, chronic hepatitis E has been described in immunosuppressed patients after solid-organ transplantation. Besides the general recommendation to lower the immunosuppressive medication in these patients, there is currently no specific treatment. We here describe the successful use of pegylated interferon alpha-2b in the treatment of 2 liver transplant recipients who suffered a chronic HEV infection for 9 years (case A) or 9 months (case B). After 4 weeks of therapy, a 2-log decrease (case A) and a 3-log decrease (case B) in the viral load were observed. In case A, who received treatment for 1 year, serum viral RNA became undetectable from week 20 onward, and serum liver enzymes normalized completely. In case B, interferon was discontinued at week 16 because of a lack of a further decline in the viral load. However, 4 weeks after the cessation of therapy, viral RNA was no longer detectable in the serum, and this was probably related to a further decline in the immunosuppressive medication. Liver tests normalized completely. In both cases, no relapse has been noted so far. We conclude that pegylated interferon alpha-2b may be useful in the treatment of chronic HEV infections in patients in whom the reduction of the immunosuppressive medication alone is not sufficient. (c) 2010 AASLD.
This article was published in Liver Transpl
and referenced in Journal of Antivirals & Antiretrovirals