Prophylaxis among hepatitis B core antibody-positive deceased-donor liver transplant recipients: Hepatitis b immunoglobulin plus oral antiviral agents versus antiviral agents alone: A single-center experience

Mohammad U. Malik, Enver Ucbilek, Panagiotis Trilianos, Andrew M Cameron, Ahmet Gurakar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Objectives: Hepatitis B core antibody immunoglobulin G seropositivity is evidence of past exposure to hepatitis B virus. Donor or recipient hepatitis B core antibody positivity may pose a risk of reactivation, especially early after liver transplant. Although most centers advocate using antiviral agents plus hepatitis B immunoglobulin, some have recently relied on antivirals only as prophylaxis after liver transplant. Here, we retrospectively investigated patient survival in hepatitis B core antibody-positive recipients, comparing those treated with antivirals plus hepatitis B immunoglobulin versus antivirals alone. Materials and Methods: After Internal Review Board approval, we reviewed medical records of deceaseddonor liver transplant recipients between 1995 and 2013. Demographic characteristics, transplant indication, hepatitis B core antibody status, time to death, and type of posttransplant prophylaxis were recorded. We also recorded whether donors showed hepatitis B core antibody positivity. Patients who died within 30 days of liver transplant were excluded. Results: There were 148 hepatitis B core antibodypositive recipients. Prophylaxis was given to 75 recipients after transplant: 8 (5%) received hepatitis B immunoglobulin, 22 (15%) received antivirals, and 45 (30%) received the combination. There were 34 deaths: 3 (38%) in hepatitis B immunoglobulin only, 3 (14%) in antiviral only, 8 (18%) in the combination, and 20 (27%) in no prophylaxis groups. One- and 5-year survival rates were similar for binary comparisons among prophylaxis groups (P >.05). Conclusions: Preliminary results support the current practice of using hepatitis B immunoglobulin plus antivirals for prophylaxis after liver transplant. The similar survival benefit with the combination versus antiviral agents alone suggests equal effectivity for prophylaxis posttransplant. However, a clear benefit of antivirals was not evident in our analysis. Future larger prospective studies are warranted to identify potential benefits of using antivirals alone as prophylaxis after liver transplant and to further clarify their role as the sole prophylactic regimen.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)183-188
Number of pages6
JournalExperimental and Clinical Transplantation
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017



  • HBIG
  • Hepatitis B
  • Liver transplant
  • Oral antivirals

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation

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