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Am J Med Sci. 1999 Nov;318(5):304-7.

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

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1
Department of Medicine, Indiana University School of Medicine, Indianapolis 46202, USA.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

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.

METHODS:

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

RESULTS:

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.

CONCLUSION:

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.

PMID:
10555092
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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