Published online Mar 21, 2006. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v12.i11.1706
Revised: December 17, 2005
Accepted: December 13, 2005
Published online: March 21, 2006
AIM: To evaluate the long-term histological outcome of patients transplanted for HBV-related liver disease and given HBIg prophylaxis indefinitely after LT.
METHODS: Forty-two consecutive patients transplanted for hepatitis B were prospectively studied. HBsAg, HBV-DNA and liver function tests were evaluated in the serum 3, 6 and 12 mo after LT and then yearly. LB was obtained 6 and 12 mo after LT and yearly thereafter. Chronic hepatitis (CH) B after LT was classified as minimal, mild, moderate or severe.
RESULTS: HBV recurred in 7/42 (16.6 %) patients after 6-96 mo of follow-up. A hundred and eighty-seven LB were evaluated. Four of 7 patients with graft reinfection, all with unknown HBV DNA status before LT, developed cirrhosis at 12-36 mo of follow-up. Of the 122 LB obtained from 28 HBsAg+/HCV- recipients with no HBV recurrence after LT, all biopsies were completely normal in only 2 patients (7.1 %), minimal/non-specific changes were observed in 18 (64.2 %), and at least 1 biopsy showed CH in the remaining 8 (28.5 %). Twenty-nine LB obtained from 7 patients transplanted for HBV-HCV cirrhosis and remaining HBsAg- after LT revealed recurrent CH-C. Actuarial survival was similar in patients with HBsAg+ or HBsAg- liver diseases.
CONCLUSION: Though protocol biopsies may enable the detection of graft dysfunction at an early stage, the risk of progression and the clinical significance of these findings remains to be determined.