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Korean J Hepatol > Volume 12(2); 2006 > Article
The Korean Journal of Hepatology 2006;12(2): 191-200.
Change of Hepatitis B Virus DNA Status in Anti-HBc Positive Liver Graft
Choon Hyuck Kwon, M.D., Kyung-Suk Suh, M.D., Ph.D., Jai Young Cho, M.D., Nam-Joon Yi, M.D., Ph.D., Ja-June Jang, M.D., Ph.D.1, and Kuhn Uk Lee, M.D., Ph.D., FACS
Department of Surgery, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea, Department of Pathology1, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea
Abstract

Background/Aims:
Many patients with positive anti-HBc, but negative HBsAg, are known to harbor occult HBV infection, which may transmit the virus through the graft in liver transplantation. We examined the change of HBV DNA within the liver allograft tissue of the donor with positive anti-HBc, but negative HBsAg, before and after the transplantation and assessed its significance.
Methods:
Twenty-eight patients with available posttransplant biopsies that received anti-HBc positive liver allografts between April 2000 and November 2003 were enrolled in the study. Intraoperative wedge biopsy of donor liver and needle biopsy of the recipient around the 12th postoperative day were used. HBV DNA within the liver tissue was identified by polymerase chain reaction technique using paraffin-embedded liver tissue.
Results:
Among 13 patients that showed positive amplification before transplantation, 10 turned negative and 3 remained positive after transplantation. One patient, who was negative, became positive after transplantation. Three patients had recurrent HBV infection, but none had positive PCR before or after transplantation and recurrence was not associated with PCR results. Donors with low anti-HBs titer were more likely to be PCR positive compared to donors with high anti-HBs serology (P<0.05).
Conclusions:
Under adequate prophylactic measures, the presence of HBV DNA within the liver tissue does not affect recurrence and most allografts harboring HBV DNA before transplantation will eventually show viral clearance. However, many anti-HBc positive allografts are infected by HBV at subclinical level so vigilant surveillance is essential. (Korean J Hepatol 2006;12: 191-200)
KeyWords: Liver; Transplants; Hepatitis B virus; Recurrence; Hepatitis B antibodies
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