Background: The efficacy of hepatitis B vaccination after living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) in patients transplanted anti-HBc-positive grafts or in patients who underwent LDLT for fulminant hepatitis B remains unknown.
Method: A total of 11 recipients who underwent LDLT between October 1996 and October 2002 prospectively received hepatitis B vaccination three times within 6 months, starting a few weeks after the cessation of hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) prophylaxis. Serial quantification of the hepatitis B surface antibody (HBsAb) was performed.
Results: At the last follow-up, six out of 11 patients (54.5%) had seroconversion and were free from HBIG thereafter. Four out of those six responders had a peak HBsAb level of more than 1000 IU/L, while the other two patients had peak HbsAb levels below 1000 IU/L. Five patients never responded to the treatment and were back to HBIG prophylaxis. The average age of the six responders was 25.5 years, which was significantly younger than that of non-responders (44.4 years, P<0.05). None had side effects or hepatitis B infection during the study period.
Conclusions: In conclusion, the use of this treatment modality could be used to reduce the cost of HBIG.