The increased risk of fatal liver disease in renal transplant patients who are hepatitis be antigen and/or HBV DNA positive

Christopher K. Fairley, Anne Mijch, Ian D. Gust, Suelen Nichilson, Mary Dimitrakakis, Charles R. Lucas

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To determine whether active viral replication is as-sociated with increased morbidity and mortality in chronic carriers of hepatitis B virus (HBV) undergoing renal transplantation, we reviewed 23 years of experience at our hospital. Over the period 1966-1989, 42 chronic carriers of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) received renal transplants, 32 of whom had functioning grafts for 12 months or longer. Stored sera were tested for markers of hepatitis B virus, hepatitis C virus (HCV), and hepatitis delta virus (HDV) infection, and the serologic findings were correlated with clinical and biochemical data. The presence of HBV DNA and/or hepatitis Be antigen (HBeAg) in serum samples collected prior to transplan-tation was associated with an increased probability of death from liver disease. Whereas 5 of 10 patients in this group died of chronic liver disease, only 1 of 15 patients who were HBV DNA and/or HBeAg negative prior to transplantation died of liver disease. This difference is highly significant (P<0.02). No difference in outcome was attributable to age at transplantation, gender, country of birth, or the presence of abnormal hepatic transaminase levels prior to transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-500
Number of pages4
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1991

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