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Minerva Chirurgica 2003 October;58(5):705-16

language: English

Treatment of hepatitis B reinfection after liver transplantation

Beckebaum S., Cicinnati V. R., Gerken G., Broelsch C. E.


Patients with chronic replicative hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection who undergo orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) in the absence of prophylactic antiviral therapy have a high risk of graft reinfection. Serial monitoring of serum HBV DNA and HBV sequence analysis, especially of the polymerase and the ''a'' epitope of the surface antigen, may be a requisite diagnostic tool in order to provide optimal therapeutic management for inhibition of viral replication before and after OLT. Combination therapy with hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) and lamivudine has been widely adopted as an effective prophylactic treatment regimen against recurrent HBV disease. The major issue of concern has been the development of lamivudine resistance due to the emergence of mutations in the YMDD motif of the HBV DNA polymerase gene. Among newer antivirals, adefovir dipivoxil and entecavir have been demonstrated to be effective against both wild-type and lamivudine resistant mutants. Due to the availability of antiviral drugs, outcome of patient and graft survival has dramatically improved and has become similar or even better as compared to patients with non-HBV-related liver diseases.

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