Outcome of patients with hepatitis B virus and human immunodeficiency virus infections referred for liver transplantation


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The outcome of patients with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) referred for liver transplantation (LT) is unknown. A high frequency of lamivudine-resistant (LAM-R) HBV infection may increase the risk of liver-related death pre-transplantation and prophylaxis failure post-transplantation. We evaluated the association of LAM-R HBV on pre-transplant survival and post-transplant outcomes in 35 consecutive HIV-HBV coinfected patients referred for LT between July 2000 and September 2002. At the time of referral, the median CD4 count was 273/mm, MELD was 14, and LAM-R HBV infection was present in 67%. Among these referred patients, 26% were listed, 29% not listed due to relative/absolute contraindications; 26% not listed as too early for LT; 9% not listed as too sick for LT; and 11% died during transplant evaluation. Of the 9 listed patients, 4 remained listed, 1 died 18 months post-referral, and 4 were transplanted (11% of total) 3 to 40 months after listing. Of 17 evaluated but not listed patients, 5 died (p=0.38 compared to listed group) and all deaths were liver-related. All the HBV-HIV coinfected patients, who were transplanted, are HBsAg negative and have undetectable HBV DNA levels on prophylactic therapy using hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) plus lamivudine, with and without tenofovir or adefovir, with median 33.1 months follow-up. Late referral and the presence of LAM-R HBV pre-transplantation are common in referred HIV-HBV patients. In HIV-HBV coinfected patients undergoing LT, HBV recurrence is successfully prevented with combination prophylaxis using HBIG and antivirals. Liver Transpl 12:801–807, 2006. © 2006 AASLD.