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Keywords:

  • Liver transplantation;
  • Hepatitis B;
  • Famciclovir

Abstract  Between November 1993 and June 1995 18 patients received oral famciclovir (3 times 500 mg) for treatment of hepatitis B virus (HBV) reinfection after liver transplantation. Reinfection was defined as the reoccurrence of HBsAg in the serum. In the first 15 patients, famciclovir therapy was initiated after clinical signs of graft hepatitis, whereas the last 3 patients received treatment immediately after HBV-DNA was detected. Famciclovir was well-tolerated in all patients. HBV-DNA values were decreased to undetectable levels in 8 out of 18 patients. Clinical status improved in 7 patients, whereas 5 patients remained unchanged and 6 patients progressed to deteriorating graft function and death. When famciclovir was initiated early after reinfection, a response rate of approximately 66 % was observed. Late onset of therapy in patients with fulminant hepatitis generally failed to provide any clinical benefit.