Department of Surgery, Queen Mary Hospital, The University of Hong Kong, 102 Pokfulam Road, Hong Kong, China. email@example.com.
Recurrence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection after liver transplantation can lead to graft loss and a reduction in long-term survival. The purpose of this review is to summarize the current therapeutic options for preventing HBV recurrence in liver transplant recipients.
Up to January 2013, studies that were published in MEDLINE and EMBASE on prevention of HBV recurrence after liver transplantation were reviewed.
There have been remarkable advancements in the past two decades on the prevention of HBV recurrence after liver transplantation, from the discovery of hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) and lamivudine monotherapy to the combination therapy using HBIG and lamivudine. With the development of newer and stronger antiviral agents, the need for life-long HBIG is doubtful. With their low resistance profile, oral antiviral prophylaxis using these new agents alone is sufficient and is associated with excellent outcome.
Restoration of host HBV immunity with adoptive immunity transfer and vaccination may represent the ultimate strategy to withdraw prophylactic treatment and to achieve a drug free regimen against HBV recurrence after liver transplantation.