Hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIg) has been shown to be effective in preventing recurrent hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection after liver transplantation (LT).
In this study, researchers from France determined whether the addition of lamivudine to HBIg would be more effective in the prevention of HBV recurrence after LT.
The team assessed 60 HBsAg-positive/HBV DNA-negative patients who underwent LT between 1990 and 2001.
All 60 patients received intravenous HBIg to maintain serum anti-HB levels above 500 IU/L, indefinitely.
However, 17 patients received combined oral lamivudine (150 mg/day) and HBIg. These patients were compared with the historical cohort of 43 patients.
|None of the 17 patients in the combined treatment group had HBV recurrence.|
|American Journal of Transplantation|
The physicians found that in the historical control group, the recurrence rate was 23%, after a median follow-up of 98 months.
They found that 5 patients died from HBV-related liver disease.
However, the team found that after a median follow-up of 30 months, none of the 17 patients in the combined treatment group had HBV recurrence. HBV DNA was undetectable by PCR in at least 3 serum samples per patient.
The team determined that HBV recurrence was significantly lower in the combined group, when compared with the historical control group.
Dr Jérôme Dumortiera's team concluded, "Our results suggest that combined lamivudine and HBIg can avoid the recurrence of HBV infection in patients who are HBsAg-positive/HBV DNA negative before LT".