Influenza Vaccination in Orthotopic Liver Transplant Recipients: Absence of Post Administration ALT Elevation

Authors


*Corresponding author: Thomas D. Schiano, Thomas.Schiano@msnyuhealth.org

Abstract

Influenza vaccination has reduced life-threatening complications from influenza virus infection in adult liver transplant recipients. We evaluated changes in aminotransferase level and immunogenicity of influenza vaccination in liver transplant recipients. Fifty-one liver transplant recipients were administered a standard dose of the 2002–2003 inactivated trivalent influenza vaccine. ALT values were measured at baseline, 1 week and 4–6 weeks postvaccination. Antibody responses to each component of the vaccine were measured at baseline and after 4–6 weeks by a hemagglutination inhibition (HAI) assay. Response was defined as an HAI titer ≥ 1: 40 and/or a 4-fold increase in antibody titers from baseline. An ALT elevation was defined as a rise of ≥ 50% from baseline. There was no difference in the median rise in ALT value between seroconverters and nonseroconverters. A significant number of recipients developed potentially protective antibody titers (p-value < 0.0001). At less than 4 months post transplantation, 1/7 (14%), at 4–12 months, 6/9 (67%), and after 12 months, 30/35 (86%) subjects responded to the H1 strain. Of 51 recipients, one HCV (−) recipients vaccinated within 3 months of transplantation developed acute cellular rejection. Influenza virus vaccination is not associated with allograft rejection or ALT flares in liver transplant recipients.

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