Antiviral treatment can be complex in decompensated hepatitis B virus (HBV) cirrhosis because of potential emergence of lamivudine-resistant mutants and worsening liver function, and to multifactorial nephrotoxicity. Negative HBV-DNA status by hybridization before liver transplantation is a favorable prognostic factor. We present the case of a 54-year-old HBV+ liver transplantation candidate who, after testing negative for HBV-DNA, developed YMDD lamivudine-resistant mutants resulting in a deteriorated clinical condition. After 8 months of adefovir plus lamivudine double therapy, only partial response was achieved. Tenofovir was added to this regimen, and an early decline of HBV-DNA was seen at 4 weeks without adverse events. The patient underwent transplantation. At 21-month postoperative follow-up, the patient's outcome was excellent. Post-transplantation HBV prophylaxis, taking into account the prior development of mutants, consists of hepatitis B immunoglobulin plus lamivudine and adefovir. Tenofovir was well tolerated and produced a fast antiviral response, suggesting its potential value in combined antiviral treatment for liver transplantation candidates.