• hepatitis B;
  • prevention;
  • liver transplantation;
  • hepatitis B immune globulin;
  • lamivudine;
  • adefovir

L.H. Katz, M. Paul, D.G. Guy, R. Tur-Kaspa. Prevention of recurrent hepatitis B virus infection after liver transplantation: hepatitis B immunoglobulin, antiviral drugs, or both? Systematic review and meta-analysis. Transpl Infect Dis 2009: 12: 292–308. All rights reserved

Abstract: Objectives. To evaluate antiviral prophylaxis against hepatitis B virus (HBV) following liver transplantation.

Methods. Systematic review and meta-analysis. Clinical trials and comparative cohort studies comparing the use of hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIg), antivirals, or both following liver transplantation for HBV infection were included. The primary outcome was reappearance of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg). Other outcomes included all-cause and HBV-related mortality, HB-related active liver disease, and reappearance of HBV DNA after transplantation. Relative risks (RR) with 95% confidence intervals (CIs) are reported.

Results. Twenty studies (22 comparisons) were included. Ten studies compared HBIg to combination treatment, 9 compared antivirals to combination treatment, and 3 compared lamivudine (LAM) to HBIg. Combination treatment reduced HBsAg reappearance (RR 0.28; 95% CI 0.12–0.66), and was superior to HBIg alone in all other outcome measures. Combination treatment was significantly better than antivirals in preventing reappearance of HBsAg (RR 0.31; 95% CI 0.22–0.44), even when low-dose HBIg was given. No significant difference was found between HBIg and LAM monotherapy for all measured outcomes. Major limitations with regard to comparability of the study groups in non-randomized trials were revealed.

Conclusions. Combination treatment with HBIg and LAM reduced HBV recurrence following liver transplantation, compared with HBIg or LAM alone, and reduced mortality compared with HBIg alone.