Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, SUNY Upstate Medical University, 750 E Adams St, Syracuse, NY 13210, USA and SUNY Upstate Medical University, Syracuse, NY, USA (formerly Hepatology Division, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, MA, USA).
Rates of transmission of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection from organ donors with HBV markers to recipients along with reactivation of HBV during immunosuppression following transplantation have fallen significantly with the advent of hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIg) and effective antiviral therapy. Although the availability of potent antiviral agents and HBIg has highly impacted the survival rate of HBV-infected patients after transplantation, the high cost associated with this practice represents a major financial burden. The availability of potent antivirals with high genetic barrier to resistance and minimal side effects have made it possible to recommend an HBIg-free prophylactic regimen in selected patients with low viral burden prior to transplant. Significant developments over the last two decades in the understanding and treatment of HBV infection necessitate a re-appraisal of the guidelines for prophylaxis of HBV infection in solid organ transplant recipients.