4 years ago

Short Course of Postoperative Hepatitis B Immunoglobulin Plus Antivirals Prevents Reinfection of Liver Transplant Recipients

Terrault, Norah A., Roberts, John P., Chi, Aileen, Radhakrishnan, Kavita, Quan, David J.
imageBackground: Hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) has been an integral component of prophylaxis against hepatitis B virus (HBV) recurrence in liver transplantation (LT) recipients, but HBIG is costly and inconvenient to administer, prompting consideration of alternative regimens. Methods: In this retrospective cohort, we report on the success of antiviral therapy combined with a short course (in hospital only) HBIG in liver transplant recipients with HBV DNA less than 100 IU/mL pre-LT. Results: A total of 42 hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive, human immunodeficiency virus and hepatitis D virus–negative patients with pretransplant HBV DNA undetectable to 100 IU/mL who received HBIG 5000 IU in anhepatic phase and daily for 5 days together with nucleos(t)ide analogues indefinitely yielded 1- and 3-year cumulative incidences of recurrence, defined by positive serum HBsAg, of 2.9% (upper 95% confidence interval, 19%). One patient had HBV viremia 16 months post-LT without detectable HBsAg. Both patients with either HBsAg positivity or viremia had recurrent hepatocellular carcinoma diagnosed within a month of detection. Post-LT survival was 98% and 94% at 1 and 5 years, respectively. Conclusions: We conclude that a very short course of HBIG combined with long-term antiviral therapy is highly effective in preventing HBV recurrence and should be the preferred strategy for LT recipients with undetectable or low-level viremia at time of LT.
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