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 21 May 2018

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News

Occult Hep B in liver transplant patients with chronic Hep C

This month's Liver Transplantation examines the prevalence and significance of occult Hep B in a liver transplant population with chronic Hep C.

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Occult Hepatitis B virus infection is defined as the detection of Hepatitis B virus deoxyribonucleic acid in the serum or liver tissue of individuals who test negative for Hepatitis B surface antigen.

Dr Kirti Shetty and colleagues from the USA undertook a prospective study to evaluate occult Hepatitis B virus in patients with Hepatitis C virus cirrhosis undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation.

Based on positive hepatic Hep B virus deoxyribonucleic acid, the prevalence was 50%
Liver Transplantation

A sensitive real-time polymerase chain reaction assay was utilized to test for serum Hepatitis B virus deoxyribonucleic acid at enrollment and for hepatic Hepatitis B virus deoxyribonucleic acid within the explant liver.

The team followed patients with serum Hepatitis B surface antigen and Hepatitis B virus deoxyribonucleic acid post-orthotopic liver transplantation.

A total of 56 patients with Hepatitis C virus cirrhosis were enrolled between 2002 and 2004.

Of these, 44 underwent orthotopic liver transplantation.

The team found that the overall prevalence of occult Hepatitis B virus based on positive serum Hepatitis B virus deoxyribonucleic acid was 28%.

The researchers noted that, based on positive hepatic Hepatitis B virus deoxyribonucleic acid, the prevalence was 50%.

The presence of serum Hepatitis B core antibody and a past history of injection drug use correlated with occult Hepatitis B virus.

Explant-proven hepatocellular carcinoma was found in 59% of patients with occult Hepatitis B virus liver compared.

The team identified explant-proven hepatocellular carcinoma in 36% of patients without occult Hepatitis B virus liver.

Post-orthotopic liver transplantation, no cases of Hepatitis B virus reactivation were noted.

The research team observed no significant association between occult Hepatitis B virus and recurrent Hepatitis C virus.

Dr Shetty's team concluded, "Occult Hepatitis B virus is far more prevalent in patients with end-stage Hepatitis C virus than would be expected from its prevalence in the general population."

"Occult Hepatitis B virus infection is strongly associated with the presence of anti-Hepatitis C, history of injection drug use, and explant-proven hepatocellular carcinoma."

Liver Transplant 2008: 14(4): 534-40
07 April 2008

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