4th Department of Internal Medicine, Aristotle University Medical School, Hippokration General Hospital of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece.
The combination of hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) and nucleos(t)ide analogues [NA(s)] is considered as the standard of care for prophylaxis against HBV recurrence after liver transplantation (LT), but the optimal protocol is controversial. We evaluated the efficacy of the newer NAs with high genetic barrier (hgbNA) [i.e. entecavir (ETV) or tenofovir (TDF)] with or without HBIG as prophylaxis against HBV recurrence after LT. In total, 519 HBV liver transplant recipients from 17 studies met the inclusion criteria and they were compared to those under lamivudine (LAM) and HBIG who had been selected in our previous review. Patients under HBIG and LAM developed HBV recurrence (115/1889 or 6.1%): (a) significantly more frequently compared to patients under HBIG and a hgbNA [1.0% (3/303), p < 0.001], and (b) numerically but not significantly more frequently compared to the patients who received a newer NA after discontinuation of HBIG [3.9% (4/102), p = 0.52]. The use of a hgbNA without any HBIG offered similar antiviral prophylaxis compared to HBIG and LAM combination, if the definition of HBV recurrence was based on HBV DNA detectability [0.9% vs. 3.8%, p = 0.11]. Our findings favor the use of HBIG and a hgbNA instead of HBIG and LAM combined prophylaxis against HBV recurrence after LT.