Patients who had received livers from hepatitis B virus core antibody (HBcAb) positive (indicates prior exposure to hepatitis B) and/or hepatitis C virus (HCV) positive donors had similar graft and patient survival compared to patients who received HBcAb negative or HCV negative livers, according to a study by the University of Pittsburgh’s Thomas E. Starzl Transplantation Institute. The results of their findings are being presented today at sixth annual American Transplant Congress, the joint scientific meeting of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons and the American Society of Transplantation at the Washington State Convention & Trade Center in Seattle.
To help alleviate the shortage of organs, there has been an increase in the transplantation of livers obtained from extended criteria donors, such as organs from HBcAb positive and HCV positive donors. In the Pitt study, the researchers conducted a seven-year review of liver transplant recipients who received HBV positive and HCV positive organs between 1997 and 2004. The patients were divided into three groups. Group one consisted of 28 patients that received both HBcAb positive and HCV positive livers; the second group consisted of 58 patients that received HBcAb positive livers; and the third group consisted of 34 patients that received HCV positive livers. Patient and graft survival and recurrence of the HBV and HCV infections were compared between the various groups of patients.
Treatment to prevent recurrent HBV infection consisted of hepatitis B immune globulin and/or lamivudine for groups one and two. The mean follow up for all patients was two years and there were no significant differences between recipients of all groups with respect to age, sex and MELD scores – a liver transplant scoring system which estimates a patient’s risk of dying while waiting for the transplant.
Maureen McGaffin | EurekAlert!
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