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Keywords:

  • adefovir;
  • hepatitis B virus;
  • lamivudine;
  • liver;
  • mutation;
  • resistance;
  • transplantation

Summary.  One hundred and thirty-one post-liver transplantation patients with chronic hepatitis B and failing lamivudine therapy with detectable serum hepatitis B virus (HBV) deoxyribonucleic acid by hybridization assays or ≥1 × 106 copies/mL by polymerase chain reaction, and elevated alanine transaminase levels despite continuous lamivudine, were enrolled in an open-label study of adefovir dipivoxil. The B and C domains of HBV polymerase were sequenced for baseline samples to determine the presence of lamivudine resistance mutations. The results showed that 98% of the samples had tyrosine-methionine-aspartate-aspartate (YMDD) mutations, indicating a strong correlation between the above clinical definition of lamivudine treatment failure and the presence of YMDD mutations. In addition to the rtM204V/I and the rtL180M mutations, the mutation rtV173L was identified in 19% of patients. Four major patterns of lamivudine-resistant HBV were identified: rtL180M + rtM204V (60%), rtV173L + rtL180M + rtM204V (19%), rtM204I (9%) and rtL180M + rtM204I (9%). Treatment with adefovir dipivoxil showed similar antiviral efficacy in patients with lamivudine-resistant virus from all four patterns.