The serum viral levels fall after the removal of a diseased liver from a Hepatitis C (HCV) patient. Virus levels are found to return even after a healthy liver transplant, which can even go beyond pre-transplant levels, according to a new research results published in the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases' (AASLD) Liver Transplantation journal. The chief reason for most liver transplantations is Hepatitis C.
As many as six liver transplant patients who had undergone cadaveric liver transplants as result of HCV infection were studied by the team of researchers. The levels of the HCV RNA were measured for changes with blood tests before, during and after the transplant operation utilizing the reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction assay, and linear regression was used to analyze the results.
It was seen that the HCV RNA levels fell in the case of most patients during the course of the transplantation operation, which rose subsequently afterwards, until a level which is above the pre-transplantation level is attained, in some cases growing by 100% every 2 days.
In the case of three patients there was a plateauing of the level before rising. As much as 4% of the viral production is from non-hepatic sources, while the liver accounts for the balance 96%, which goes to prove that the primary viral replication takes place in the liver. The virion half-life seen in this study is very much higher than what has been observed in previous studies, even though the rise and fall of the viremia appears to be the same.