Ribavirin as a First Treatment Approach for Hepatitis E Virus Infection in Transplant Recipient Patients



The hepatitis E virus (HEV) is the major cause of acute hepatitis of viral origin worldwide. Despite its usual course as an asymptomatic self-limited hepatitis, there are highly susceptible populations, such as those with underlying immunosuppression, which could develop chronic hepatitis. In this situation, implementation of therapy is mandatory in the sense to facilitate viral clearance. Currently, there are no specific drugs approved for HEV infection, but ribavirin (RBV), the drug of choice, is used for off-label treatment. Here, we present two cases of chronic HEV infection in transplant patients, reviewing and discussing the therapeutic approach available in the literature. The use of RBV for the treatment of an HEV infection in organ transplant patients seems to be effective. The recommendation of 12 weeks of therapy is adequate in terms of efficacy. Nevertheless, there are important issues that urgently need to be assessed, such as optimal duration of therapy and drug dosage.

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