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Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2011 Jun;6(6):1481-7. doi: 10.2215/CJN.09201010. Epub 2011 May 12.

Impact of pre-existing hepatitis B infection on the outcomes of kidney transplant recipients in the United States.

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  • 1Division of Nephrology, Kidney and Pancreas Transplant Program, David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Los Angeles, California, USA.



Pre-existing hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection has been associated in inferior renal transplant outcomes. We examined outcomes of HBV+ renal recipients in a more recent era with availability of oral anti-viral agents.


Using the Organ Procurement Transplant Network/United Network for Organ Sharing database, we selected adult primary kidney recipients transplanted in the United States (2001 to 2007). The cohort was divided into HBV+ (surface antigen positive, n = 1346) and HBV- patients (surface antigen negative; n = 74,335). Five-year graft survival, patient survival, hepatic failure incidence, and associated adjusted risks were compared.


HBV+ recipients were more frequently Asian, had a lower body mass index, and glomerulonephritis was more prevalent as the etiology of ESRD. HBV+ recipients had less pretransplant diabetes and cardiovascular disease, were less likely a living donor recipient, and were less likely to receive steroids at discharge. Five-year patient survival was 85.3% and 85.6% and graft survival was 74.9% and 75.1% for HBV+ and HBV-, respectively. HBV infection was not a risk factor for death or kidney failure, although 5-year cumulative incidence of hepatic failure was higher in HBV+ recipients (1.3% versus 0.2%; P < 0.001), and HBV+ was associated with 5.5- and 5.2-fold increased risk for hepatic failure in living and deceased donors, respectively, compared with HBV-.


In a recent era (2001 to 2007), HBV-infected renal recipients were not at higher risk for kidney failure or death; however, they remain at higher risk of liver failure compared with HBV- recipients.

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