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Hepatitis B Vaccination in End-Stage Pulmonary Disease Patients Evaluated for Lung Transplantation: A Retrospective Single-Center Evaluation

Alexandra Wald, Lea Deterding, Melanie Maier, Uwe G. Liebert, Thomas Berg, Hubert Wirtz, Johannes Wiegand

(Deoartment of Pneumology, University of Leipzig, Leipzig, Germany)

Ann Transplant 2016; 21:368-372

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.897624


BACKGROUND: In times of limited organs for transplantation, anti-HBc-positive organs can be accepted for lung transplantation to increase the number of donors. Transplant recipients should be vaccinated against hepatitis B to prevent HBV infection. However, response after HBV vaccination has only been poorly evaluated in patients with end-stage pulmonary disease.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Anti-HBs titers of 40 anti-HBc negative patients with end-stage pulmonary disease evaluated for lung transplantation were analyzed with the Architect® system (Abbott, Germany). Responders, partial responders, or non-responders after HBV vaccination were defined by anti-HBs titers >100 IU/L, 10–100 IU/L, and <10 IU/L, respectively.
RESULTS: There were 34/40 individuals (85%) vaccinated against hepatitis B, and 6 were not vaccinated. Response, partial response, and non-response after vaccination were observed in 10/34 (29.4%), 11/34 (32.4%), and 13/34 (38.2%) of patients, respectively. Response to vaccination did not correlate with sex, pulmonary disease, comorbidities, immunosuppressive therapy, or smoking status.
CONCLUSIONS: Although 85% of patients evaluated for lung transplantation were vaccinated against hepatitis B, 38.2% did not show an anti-HBs titer >10 IU/L. Thus, anti-HBs titers should be regularly monitored. Nonresponders should be considered for booster vaccinations, alternative vaccination schedules, or prophylactic treatment with a nucleos(t)ide analogue in case of transplantation of an anti-HBc–positive organ.

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