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J Hepatol. 1986;2(3):402-9.

Hepatitis B vaccination in chronic alcoholics.


Given the possible role of hepatitis B virus in the occurrence of hepatocellular carcinoma and the high prevalence of HBV infection in alcoholics, we attempted to prevent HBV infection in alcoholic patients with or without cirrhosis. Among 32 cirrhosis, 20 received three injections of hepatitis B vaccine at monthly intervals and 12 had a 4th injection one month later. Effectiveness was evaluated on the anti-HBs titer at the 6th month; it did not differ between the 3- and 4-injection groups. Two patients were good responders (anti-HBs greater than 300 mU/ml), 14 had a low response (m-30 mU/ml at the peak) and 16 (50%) had no detectable anti-HBs. All alcoholics without cirrhosis were given 4 injections; all had detectable anti-HBs but their mean antibody response was 97.7 +/- 4 SD. No obvious statistical difference in the response to the vaccine was noted on the basis of sex or age, or on the discontinuation or not of alcohol intake. Deficient antibody response to vaccines has not previously been demonstrated in patients with cirrhosis or in alcoholics. It remains to be determined whether this response is specific of HBV and how it could be related to the role of HBV in the occurrence of liver alterations in alcoholics.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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