SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Abstract

To determine the safety and efficacy of ganciclovir treatment of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection after liver transplantation, nine patients (seven males, two females; mean age, 38 years) with posttransplant HBV infection were treated with ganciclovir for 3 to 10 months. Ganciclovir was administered intravenously at an initial dose of 5 mg/kg/d and then increased to 10 mg/kg/d. Immunosuppressive drug therapy was maintained at low levels. There were no major side effects of ganciclovir therapy. Serum HBV DNA levels decreased by a mean of 90% (range, 42% to 100%), and four of nine patients had no measurable HBV DNA at the completion of therapy. Mean serum alanine aminotransferase levels decreased by 83%. Hepatic expression of HBV antigens and HBV DNA was assessed before and after therapy in six patients and found to be reduced in three patients. The histology activity index was also stabilized or improved in all patients. After discontinuation of therapy, four of nine patients underwent retreatment for 4- to 12-fold elevation of serum HBV DNA and/or biochemical and clinical relapse, that was severe in one patient. This pilot study shows the safety and efficacy of ganciclovir therapy for reducing HBV replication in patients with HBV infection after liver transplantation.