Background: The optimal therapy for recurrent hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection after liver transplantation has not yet been established. This study aimed to clarify the efficacy and safety of interferon-free therapy with sofosbuvir and ledipasvir without ribavirin for 12 weeks in Japanese patients with HCV genotype 1b infection after living donor liver transplantation. Methods: A cohort study of living donor liver transplant recipients with recurrent HCV genotype 1b infection treated with sofosbuvir (400 mg/day) and ledipasvir (90 mg/day) was performed at six liver transplant centers in Japan. Results: Fifty-four patients were treated with sofosbuvir and ledipasvir. Thirty-eight patients (70%) were treatment experienced, including 17 patients who had undergone prior direct-acting-antiviral-based triple therapy. Ten patients had resistance-associated substitutions at L31 or Y93 in the NS5A region of the HCV genome. Fifty-three patients completed the 12-week treatment protocol; treatment was discontinued in one patient who developed pneumonia at 4 weeks and died thereafter. All 53 patients who completed the treatment regimen achieved a sustained virological response 12 weeks after completion of treatment. Treatment was well tolerated in most patients, but seven patients developed serious adverse events, including hemorrhagic duodenal ulcers (n = 3), infection (n = 2), pleural effusion (n = 1), and alveolar hemorrhage (n = 1). Conclusions: Sofosbuvir and ledipasvir treatment without ribavirin for 12 weeks was highly effective in achieving a sustained virological response in Japanese patients who developed recurrent HCV genotype 1b infection after living donor liver transplantation.
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