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Hepatogastroenterology. 1997 Jan-Feb;44(13):235-8.

Hepatitis B vaccination results in 140 liver transplant recipients.

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  • 1Servicio de Cirugia General, Hospital 12 de Octubre, Madrid, Spain.



Human autologous liver transplantation is possible due to an adequate suppression of the body's immune response. This also causes a higher hepatitis infection rate, making hepatitis prevention very important.


We describe our experience with hepatitis B virus vaccination in 140 adult liver transplant recipients, transplanted from 1986 to 1994 with more than one year of follow-up. Excluded were those who had hepatitis B surface antigens or antibodies to those antigens before the transplant. The vaccination schedule was 0-1-2 months with a double dose of recombinant vaccine.


The total response rate (surface antigen antibodies > 10 U) was 40% (56/140); the rate was 47.7% in men and 26% in women. At the end of the study, only 17.1% (24/140) of the patients had antibodies > 10 U. The response rate was higher in patients with antibodies to hepatitis B core antigen (66.6%) than in those lacking antibodies (31.7%), and more long lasting (42.4% vs 11.2%). The response rate in 116 patients with booster doses was 12.9%. Six correctly vaccinated patients (4.28%) acquired new hepatitis B virus infections after the operation.


The total response rate in these patients is much lower than in the general population, and there is a rapid decline of titers, probably due to immunosuppression. The role of booster doses in these patients should be clarified.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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