Emergency liver transplantation in fulminant hepatitis
Article first published online: 5 DEC 2005
Copyright © 1988 American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
Volume 8, Issue 2, pages 431–432, March/April 1988
How to Cite
Lorber, M. I. (1988), Emergency liver transplantation in fulminant hepatitis. Hepatology, 8: 431–432. doi: 10.1002/hep.1840080247
- Issue published online: 5 DEC 2005
- Article first published online: 5 DEC 2005
Seven patients with hepatitis delta virus (HDV) cirrhosis underwent liver transplantation. In every case the HDV infection was florid but accompanied by an inactive hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. The patients were given anti-HB surface antigen (HBsAg) serum globulins and HBV vaccine. Two patients cleared the HBsAg and the HDV, and are alive and well 14 and 15 months, respectively, after transplantation. HDV infection recurred in the other five patients: hepatitis developed in three, another died, and the fifth was re-transplanted for causes unrelated to viral hepatitis (reinfection was shown by the presence of HD antigen in the graft). Liver transplantation is feasible in patients with HDV disease but involves a high risk of HDV reinfection that cannot be predicted by the virological pattern of the native HBV infection or prevented by conventional HBV prophylaxis.
Orthotopic liver transplantation was done in 17 patients with fulminant hepatitis. The cause of the liver disease was infection with hepatitis B virus, or co-infection with hepatitis B virus and hepatitis D virus, or infection with hepatitis A virus in 6 patients; drug hepatotoxicity in 5; and indeterminate in 6. Grafts from incompatible blood groups, steatotic grafts, or reduced-size grafts were used in 5, 4, and 4 patients, respectively. Of the 17 patients, 5 died: 2 of early liver failure due to the poor quality of the graft, 1 presumably of accidentally transmitted acute infection with the human immunodeficiency virus, and 2 of decerebration occurring during or immediately after surgery. The 12 other patients were alive 2 to 15 months after transplantation.