Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Am J Med Sci. 1999 Nov;318(5):304-7.

Vaccination against hepatitis B in patients with chronic liver disease awaiting liver transplantation.

Author information

Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis 46202, USA.



Most transplant centers in the United States immunize patients awaiting liver transplantation against hepatitis B to prevent acquisition of hepatitis B through transplantation (de novo hepatitis B). A recent study showed that only 16% of patients with cirrhosis awaiting liver transplantation responded to single-dose recombinant vaccine.


We studied the immunogenicity of double-dose recombinant vaccine in patients with cirrhosis awaiting liver transplantation.


Over a 4-year period (January 1994 to December 1997), 140 patients with cirrhosis without past or current hepatitis B infection were given double-dose recombinant vaccine (40 microg of Engerix B; SmithKline Beecham, Philadelphia, PA) at 0, 1 to 2, and 2 to 4 months. Hepatitis B surface antibody (HBsAb) was measured 1 to 3 months after completing vaccination. The response rate was 37%. However, HBsAb titers became undetectable in 35% of the responders during the post-transplant follow-up period. One hundred and thirty-seven patients underwent 144 liver transplantation procedures during the study period, and 3 patients developed de novo hepatitis B (2.2%). Livers transplanted from hepatitis B core antibody (HBcAb)-positive donors was the source of de novo hepatitis B in all cases. Two of the 3 patients who developed de novo hepatitis B were immunized before transplantation and one of them was a responder.


Although the response rate to double-dose recombinant vaccines is higher than the previously reported response to single-dose vaccine, it still is less than optimal.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science
    Loading ...
    Support Center