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13 November 2018 : Original article  

Recurrence of Hepatitis B Infection in Liver Transplant Patients Receiving Long-Term Hepatitis B Immunoglobulin Prophylaxis

Susanne Beckebaum1ABCDEF*, Kerstin Herzer2BE, Artur Bauhofer3ADE, William Gelson4BE, Paolo De Simone5BE, Robert de Man6BE, Cornelius Engelmann7BE, Beat Müllhaupt8BE, Julien Vionnet9BE, Mauro Salizzoni10BE, Riccardo Volpes11BE, Giorgio Ercolani12BE, Luciano De Carlis13BE, Paolo Angeli14BE, Patrizia Burra14BE, Jean-François Dufour15BE, Massimo Rossi16BE, Umberto Cillo17BE, Ulf Neumann18BE, Lutz Fischer19BE, Gabriele Niemann3DE, Luca Toti20BE, Guiseppe Tisone20BE

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.910176

Ann Transplant 2018; 23:789-801


BACKGROUND: Long-term real-world data are relatively sparse regarding recurrence of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection after liver transplantation using hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIg) and nucleos(t)ide analogue (NUC) prophylaxis.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Data from 371 adults transplanted for HBV-related disease at 20 European centers and given HBIg for ³12 months ± NUC therapy were analyzed retrospectively.

RESULTS: HBIg comprised Hepatect® (iv HBIgB; n=299), subcutaneous Zutectra® (sc HBIg, n=236), and other HBIg preparations (n=130); 93.5% received NUC therapy. Mean follow-up was 6.8±3.5 years. The primary efficacy variable, freedom from HBV recurrence, occurred in 95.7% of patients (95% CI [93.1%, 97.5%]). The observed incidence of recurrence was 16/371 (4.3%) (annual rate 0.65%); 5/16 patients with recurrence had discontinued HBIg and 7/16 had anti-HBs <100 IU/l. Excluding these 7 patients, the HBV recurrence rate was 2.4%. The recurrence rate while on HBIg therapy was 1 per 2069 months. In patients who discontinued HBIg, risk of HBV recurrence versus sc HBIg users was increased by 5.2-fold (1 per 1 603 versus 1 per 8379 treatment months). The annual rate of HBV-related hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) recurrence was 1.7%.

CONCLUSIONS: These results support the long-term use of HBIg with NUC therapy as an effective management strategy to minimize risk of HBV recurrence and virus-related complications after liver transplantation.

Keywords: Hepatitis B virus, Liver Transplantation, Recurrence

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Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358
Annals of Transplantation eISSN: 2329-0358