• expanded donor pool;
  • hepatitis B virus;
  • liver transplant;
  • prophylaxis;
  • serology

Avelino-Silva VI, D′Albuquerque LAC, Bonazzi PR, Song ATW, Miraglia JL, de Brito Neves A, Abdala E. Liver transplant from Anti-HBc-positive, HBsAg-negative donor into HBsAg-negative recipient: is it safe? A systematic review of the literature. Clin Transplant 2010: 24: 735–746. © 2010 John Wiley & Sons A/S.

Abstract: Introduction:  After liver transplant (LT) from Anti-HBc+/HBsAg− donors into HBsAg− recipients, transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV) may occur (de novo HBV infection). This study analyzes the incidence of de novo HBV infection in HBsAg− recipients of Anti-HBc+/HBsAg− LT with respect to: (i) the recipients’ HBV serology and (ii) the type of preventive therapy adopted.

Methods:  A systematic review of the literature using the electronic database Medline.

Results:  Five hundred and fifty-two LT in 36 articles were selected. Lamivudine, Hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG), revaccination, and combined therapies were employed in multiple strategies as preventive interventions. Naïve recipients had a high risk of de novo HBV infection, with smaller incidences when HBIG and lamivudine were used, either alone or in association. Vaccinated recipients or those with isolated hepatitis B core antibodies (Anti-HBc) and previous HBV infection had lower risks of viral transmission, additionally reduced by any prophylaxis adoption.

Discussion:  LT from Anti-HBc+/HBsAg− donors into HBsAg− recipients is apparently safe, as long as the recipient is vaccinated or presents an isolated Anti-HBc or previous HBV infection and some prophylaxis is employed. Currently lamivudine seems the best alternative; other nucleoside analogs and revaccination strategies should be considered in future studies. Follow-up and preventive therapies should be maintained for five yr or preferably throughout the recipients’ life span.