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J Hepatol. 1996 Dec;25(6):968-71.

Reactivated fulminant hepatitis B virus replication after bone marrow transplantation: clinical course and possible treatment with ganciclovir.

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Department of Virology, University of Ulm, Germany.


A female chronic hepatitis B virus carrier (HBV-DNA negative) suffered from simultaneous hepatitis B virus and cytomegalovirus reactivation after in vivo T cell depletion preceding transplantation of an in vitro T cell depleted marrow graft for treatment of acute leukaemia. Interstitial pneumonia developing after bone marrow transplantation was successfully treated with ganciclovir (day 13 until day 46). The initially unnoticed extensive hepatitis B virus replication finally led to clinical hepatitis (day 85) and liver failure (day 96). Liver transplantation was performed, but the patient died from septicaemia. Retrospective analysis of hepatitis B virus DNA revealed that the HBV replication started immediately after T cell depletion and was completely suppressed during ganciclovir administration. Screening for HBV-DNA seems to be mandatory in comparable cases, and antiviral chemotherapy should be seriously considered.

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