Liver Transplant Lists Grow Shorter

NOVEMBER 14, 2015
Gale Scott
Ever since direct-acting antivirals for hepatitis C came on the scene in 2013, physicians have been watching to see if the need for liver transplants will diminish.

Reporting at the Liver Meeting in San Francisco, CA, Ryan Perumpail, MD, of Stanford University Medical Center in Pala Alto, CA said an analysis of recent United Network for Organ Sharing data shows that is happening.

“The proportion of all new wait-list registrations for liver transplant represented by HCV patients declined from 34.8% in August 2012 to 26.8% in March 2015," he wrote.

The proportion of people on wait lists for livers who have HCV without liver cancer dropped as well, from 23% in August 2012 to 15.4% in March 2015.

In 2012 there were on average 188 new wait-list listings per month for patients with HCV. By March, 2015 that dropped to 153 new listings a month.

Of course those numbers are likely to drop still more as patients who test positive for the virus are treated before their livers get damaged by the infection.

But already the news is good, the team noted. “We report a statistically significant downtrend in new waitlist listings for liver transplant among HCV patients without HCC [liver cancer] following the introduction of second-generation direct acting antiviral agents,” they concluded in an abstract presented at the meeting.


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