Thursday, August 9, 2012

Hepatitis B–Positive Donors in Renal Transplantation: Increasing the Deceased Donor Pool

It is reasonable to transplant HbsAg-positive kidneys into recipients who are themselves hepatitis B surface antigen (HbsAg) positive with appropriate antiviral treatment after transplantation. Although there are limited data regarding the hepatitis B virus (HBV) transmission risk following transplantation of kidneys from HbsAg-positive donors into HBV-immune recipients, current literature suggests that the risk of chronic infection in the recipient can be prevented by using antiviral agents or by boosting protective anti-HBs titers. The risk of chronic HBV infection following transplantation of kidneys from HbsAg-positive donors for HBV-naive recipients is high but can be minimized by administering lifelong antiviral therapy. Such a policy could be considered in an urgent situation. The most cost-effective antiviral prophylaxis strategy is lifelong lamivudine. Kidneys from HBsAg neg/anti-HBcore pos recipients are associated with a low rate of chronic HBV infection in the recipient and therefore can no longer be regarded as marginal donors. Booster vaccination to achieve protective HBV immunity or lifelong lamivudine therapy should prevent posttransplant HBV infection. Hence, we believe that strategies allowing transplantation of kidneys from donors with HBV can be undertaken safely with careful selection and matching of donors and recipients increasing access to kidney transplantation. (read more) Print this post

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