The National Institutes of Health announced the launch of the HOPE in Action Multicenter Liver Study, designed to evaluate liver transplantation outcomes in patients with HIV, according to a recent press release.
The study is sponsored by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and follows the launch of a similar study for kidney transplantation outcomes in patients with HIV launched in 2018.
“Liver transplants are the second most common type of organ transplant performed in the United States, and the number of people waiting for these life-saving procedures — both with and without HIV — increases every year,” Christine Durand, MD, from Johns Hopkins University and principal investigator of the new study, said in the release. “Should liver transplants between people with HIV be shown to be safe and effective through this research, the donor pool will expand, saving lives and reducing the time that both HIV-negative and HIV-positive people spend on an organ transplant waiting list.”
The study will follow 80 liver transplant recipients with HIV, 40 of whom will have received livers from deceased donors with HIV and 40 of whom will receive livers from donors without HIV as a control group. Study participants are eligible to receive a simultaneous kidney transplantation and those with hepatitis C may receive HCV-positive organs.
The investigators will monitor the liver transplant recipients for signs of organ rejection, organ failure, failure of previously effective anti-HIV medications, and HIV-associated complications. They will also track psychological and social responses of the participants, changes in their reservoirs of latent HIV, and the potential development of HIV superinfection.
“Antiretroviral therapy has been incredibly successful in helping people with HIV live longer, healthy lives. As more people with HIV grow older, we see organ damage in this population linked to age, HIV and other infections,” Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the NIAID, said in the release. “The HOPE in Action Multicenter Liver Study will allow researchers to evaluate the safety and efficacy of transplanting livers from donors with HIV to HIV-positive recipients. This strategy has the potential to both improve the wellbeing of those with HIV and increase the overall supply of transplantable livers.”
Disclosure: The HOPE in Action Multicenter Liver study is supported by an NIAID grant.