Hepatitis C and liver transplant: Criteria and procedure

Hepatitis C-related complications are a leading cause of liver transplants in the United States. A liver transplant is a life-saving surgery where a surgeon removes a diseased liver and replaces it with a healthy liver from a living or deceased donor.

Hepatitis C (HCV) is a virus that causes inflammation of the liver. HCV infections can either be acute (short term) or chronic (long lasting). When a person has acute hepatitis, symptoms can last for 6 months. If the body is unable to clear the virus, the infection becomes chronic. Evidence suggests that more than 50% of cases develop into a chronic infection, which often damages the liver, causing the organ to stop functioning properly.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), approximately 5–25% of individuals with a chronic HCV infection will develop complete scarring, or cirrhosis, within 10–20 years. The CDC adds that people

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