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Clin Transplant. 2000;14 Suppl 2:25-8.

Antiviral therapy to prevent and treat hepatitis B virus infection in hepatic allografts.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Ochsner Clinic, New Orleans, LA 70121, USA.


Hepatitis B infection of a liver allograft can have serious consequences including a negative influence on the probability of survival. Therefore, there is a need for very effective antiviral therapy for transplant recipients. In this article the early experience with nucleoside analogue antiviral agents, both to prevent and to treat hepatitis B in liver allografts, is reviewed. There are several important characteristics of these agents that are already apparent. Ganciclovir and famciclovir have limited efficacy in treating infections when they are used alone. These compounds might be beneficial if used after resistance develops to other drugs or when used in combination with other agents. Lamivudine is effective for about two-thirds of patients in preventing and treating hepatitis B infection in allografts. Hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIg) is known to increase the efficacy of lamivudine in preventing infection. A large study to further characterize this combination therapy is being organized. Resistance to famciclovir and lamivudine can occur if they are used alone for a long time. In order to lower the incidence of drug resistance, it may be necessary to utilize combinations of nucleoside analogues.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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