Use of Hepatitis B Core Antibody–Positive Liver Allograft in Hepatitis C Virus–Positive and –Negative Recipients With Use of Short Course of Hepatitis B Immunoglobulin and Lamivudine

Department of Surgery, University of Rochester, Rochester, New York, United States
Transplantation Proceedings (Impact Factor: 0.98). 10/2005; 37(7):3187-9. DOI: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2005.07.049
Source: PubMed


With the shortage of donor organs, increasing number of hepatitis B core antibody (HBcAb)-positive [HBcAb(+)] liver allografts are being used for liver transplantation (LTx) in patients who are HBcab-negative [HBsAb(-)]. This study was aimed at assessing outcomes for hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive [HCV(+)] and HCV-negative [HCV(-)] patients who received HBcAb(+) liver grafts from deceased donors and also received a short course of hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIg) with long-term lamivudine therapy after LTx.
From February 1995 through February 2003, 28 patients (mean age 53.8 +/- 10.2 years, 19 men and nine women, 16 HCV[-]; 12 HCV[+]) received HbcAb(+) liver allografts. All recipients received a short course of HBIg prophylaxis (10,000 units/day for 4 days) and long-term lamivudine 100 mg/d after LTx in addition to a tacrolimus-based immunosuppressive regimen.
Seven (25%) of the 28 recipients died during follow-up and three recipients required retransplantation. Three recipients (10.7%) developed HBV infection during follow-up, one of whom died 36 months after LTx and the other two had YMDD mutant HBV. The overall 6-year actuarial patient survival after transplantation was 74.4% and those for HCV(-) and HCV(+) recipients were 81.3% and 66.6%, respectively (P = .46). The overall 6-year actuarial graft survival was 63.9% and those for HCV(+) and HCV(-) recipients were 68.8% and 57.1%, respectively (P = .6).
We conclude that HBcAb(+) liver grafts can be used for both HCV(+) patients and HCV(-) patients who are critically ill, have early hepatocellular carcinoma, or have been exposed to HBV in the past. A short course of HBIg-lamivudine combination therapy provides effective prophylaxis against HBV infection in 89% of recipients of HBcAb(+) grafts.

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