Journal Article

Outcome of renal transplantation in hepatitis B surface antigen‐positive patients after introduction of lamivudine<sup>†</sup>

Su‐Kil Park, Won Seok Yang, Yung Sang Lee, Hae Hyuk Jung, Jai Won Chang, Hye Jeong Choi, Duck Jong Han and Jung Sik Park

in Nephrology Dialysis Transplantation

Published on behalf of European Renal Association - European Dialysis and Transplant Assoc

Volume 16, issue 11, pages 2222-2228
Published in print November 2001 | ISSN: 0931-0509
Published online November 2001 | e-ISSN: 1460-2385 | DOI:
Outcome of renal transplantation in hepatitis B surface antigen‐positive patients after introduction of lamivudine†

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Background. In end‐stage renal disease patients with hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), the risk of hepatic dysfunction after immunosuppression represents a large barrier in renal transplantation. Lamivudine is a potent inhibitor of hepatitis B virus (HBV) replication. We retrospectively investigated the outcome of HBsAg‐positive renal transplantation recipients after lamivudine had become available.

Methods. From July 1994 to August 2000, seventeen HBsAg‐positive patients (M:F=15:2) received renal allografts (13:4=living:cadaveric donors). Liver function tests at the time of transplantation were normal in all patients. Pre‐transplant liver biopsies performed in 15 patients demonstrated minimal inflammatory histology, except in three patients showing pathological and clinical signs of active hepatitis. Lamivudine was started pre‐operatively in these three subjects. Another seven patients were treated with lamivudine for post‐operative hepatic dysfunction. The remaining seven patients did not develop hepatic dysfunction after transplantation.

Results. Lamivudine was initially effective in decreasing serum HBV DNA titres, and in normalizing hepatic enzymes. Lamivudine was well tolerated without significant side effects for 35.5±8.9 months after initiation of treatment. HBV DNA became negative in nine patients but remained positive in one patient. Among the nine patients with initial negative conversion of HBV DNA, two developed transient positive conversion of HBV DNA and two demonstrated persistent positive conversion. Among the patients with normal liver histology in the pre‐transplant period, 41.6% (5/12) developed liver pathology progression after immunosuppression. All 17 patients had functioning grafts, except for one patient who developed relapsed IgA nephropathy.

Conclusions. Our data showed relatively favourable outcomes in hepatitis B‐positive renal transplant recipients receiving lamivudine treatment, even though two patients developed lamivudine resistance.

Keywords: hepatitis B; lamivudine; liver biopsy; prognosis; renal transplantation

Journal Article.  3623 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Nephrology

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