SEARCH

SEARCH BY CITATION

Keywords:

  • Hepatitis B immunoglobulin;
  • lamivudine;
  • liver transplantation;
  • prevention;
  • viral infection

Although the combination of lamivudine (LAM) and high-dose intravenous (IV) hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) is very effective in preventing hepatitis B virus (HBV) recurrence after liver transplantation (LT), the major limitation of this regimen is its high cost. A more cost-effective, convenient and widely accepted regimen is urgently needed. We evaluated the safety and efficacy of another strategy using LAM and individualized low-dose intramuscular (IM) HBIG. Between May 2002 and December 2009, a total of 254 adult patients undergoing LT for HBV-related benign end-stage liver diseases received this regimen in our center. The mean follow-up of these patients was 41.2 ± 22.7 months. Their 1-, 3- and 5-year survival rates were 85.3%, 77.4% and 76.4%, respectively, and 1-, 3- and 5-year HBV recurrence rates were 2.3%, 6.2% and 8.2%. Fourteen patients experienced posttransplant HBV recurrence. Pretransplant high viral load and posttransplant prednisone withdrawal time were observed to be associated with recurrence. In conclusion, combination therapy with LAM and individualized low-dose IM HBIG provides a safe and effective prophylaxis against HBV recurrence after LT at about 5% of the cost of conventional high-dose IV HBIG regimens.