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Leuk Lymphoma. 2003 Aug;44(8):1281-5.

Hepatitis B reactivation in patients positive for hepatitis B surface antigen undergoing autologous hematopoietic cell transplantation.

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Division of Hematology, University Department of Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong SAR, People's Republic of China.


Hepatitis due to reactivation of hepatitis B virus is an important cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality in hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) positive patients undergoing autologous hematopoeitic cell transplantation. With the recent introduction of sensitive serum HBV DNA quantitation assay, the diagnosis of hepatitis B reactivation can now be made more reliably. As these hepatitis are driven by the host immune response to a surge of hepatitis B viral load, the availability of effective nucleoside analogues which can inhibit hepatitis B viral replication has opened up new approaches to this previously untreatable condition. Up till now, two such nucleoside analogues, lamivudine and adefovir dipivoxil, have been approved for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B infection. However, further studies are needed to determine which nucleoside analogues should be chosen in this transplant setting. Due to the high dose chemotherapy generally needed in autologous hematopoeitic cell transplantation, there is a high risk of post-transplant hepatitis B reactivation. Hence, all HBsAg positive patients undergoing autologous hematopoeitic cell transplantation should preferably be treated pre-emptively with nucleoside analogous. An alternative approach is to defer treatment with nucleoside analogous until there is evidence of hepatitis B virological reactivation. However, the latter approach would need the patient's hepatitis B viral load be monitored at a very close interval and might not be cost-effective.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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