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Gut. 1980 Feb;21(2):118-22.

Liver disease and the e antigen in HBsAg carriers with chronic renal failure.


This study was undertaken to assess the frequency of development and the stages of evolution of chronic liver disease in patients with renal failure who are chronic carriers of hepatitis B surface antigen. Cirrhosis or chronic active hepatitis developed in five of 21 patients and could not be predicted by the initial histological appearance or by HLA-A and B typing but was associated with the e antigen in four of the five patients. However, the antigen was not a consistent indicator of a poor prognosis, as the four other e antigen positive patients did not develop chronic liver disease during the period of the study. Transmission of hepatitis B to spouses occurred in four cases, was fatal in one instance, and was associated with e antigen in three of the four. Determination of e antigen status in renal unit patients who are carriers of hepatitis B surface antigen may be of value to the patient and his home environment.

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