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HCV Treatment & Liver Transplant Questions

Hey Doctor Chung!

I was treated for HCV (which in contracted around 1986 and became chronic in 1994) over a three year period (1997-2000) and my enzymes were normal for about 6 months. Last November my blood work indicated that the HCV was back (or still there). My doctor has recommended alpha-interferon treatment again or the new Peg trials.

My last biopsy indicated moderate cirrhosis, but this was 2-3 years ago. Now I am experiencing significant discomfort on my right side where whatever is left of my liver resides. I will have another biopsy in August (I hope) when I see my doctor in NYC (Dr. Doug Deiterich, whom you probably know or have heard of).

My questions are as follows:

1. How will I know when I need a new liver (other than a biopsy) -- from the pain level, feel, skin color, etc.? Cause it feels as though its having serious problems functioning (of course this could be my imagination).

Dr.Chung writes--

Your liver will stop functioning the way it is supposed to (jaundice, easy bruising, fluid retention, foggy memory or confusion or excess sleepiness).

2. Is it possible to prevent HCV from re-occcurring in the transplanted liver?

Dr.Chung writes--

Not at this juncture, although trials are looking at using interferon to try to prevent infection.

3. At what level of cirrhosis should one stop interferon treatment (or Peg) and look for a new liver?

Dr.Chung writes--

See answer to number 1.

4. Got any used livers I could have at a good price?

Dr.Chung writes--

No. Thanks for your time and efforts on behalf of all HCV patients. RC Ask our Experts All Questions