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Gastroenterology. 1992 Oct;103(4):1307-12.

Fibrosing cytolytic liver failure secondary to recurrent hepatitis B after liver transplantation.

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Department of Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland.


Four patients who underwent transplantation for hepatitis B virus-related liver disease developed rapidly progressive liver failure attributable to recurrent hepatitis B disease typified by hyperbilirubinemia and distinctive hepatocyte ballooning and progressive fibrosis consistent with recently reported fibrosing cholestatic hepatitis. Among these four patients, the mean interval from transplantation to redocumentation of hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) and hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) was 5 months, to development of malaise and jaundice 6 months, to histological diagnosis 7 months, and to graft failure 8 months. The only patient who underwent retransplantation had accelerated recurrence of the same syndrome with biopsy documentation 1 month later and graft failure 2 months later. Distinctive histological features included confluent hepatocellular ballooning and progressive periportal fibrosis followed by lobular collapse over 4-6 weeks without significant inflammation. Immunohistochemical staining showed marked HBsAg and hepatitis B core antigen (HBcAg) immunoreactivity. The rapid development of cytolytic hepatocellular necrosis and lobular collapse with prominent HBcAg immunoreactivity without significant inflammation suggests a cytolytic rather than immune pathogenesis for this unique and devastating form of recurrent hepatitis B that might better be termed "fibrosing cytolytic hepatitis."

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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