Discontinuation of lamivudine treatment for hepatitis flare after kidney or heart transplantation in hepatitis B surface antigen-positive patients: A retrospective case series

Yi Wen Huang, Chun Jen Liu, Ming Yang Lai*, Po Huang Lee, Meng Kung Tsai, Shoei Shen Wang, Ming Kuen Lai, Jia Horng Kao

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

7 Scopus citations


Background: Limited data are available on the clinical course of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection after discontinuation of lamivudine prescribed for kidney or heart posttransplantation hepatitis flare. Objective: The purpose of this study was to investigate the reasons for discontinuation, subsequent reappearance of HBV DNA, and mortality in heart and kidney transplant recipients who discontinued lamivudine treatment. Methods: This retrospective case series followed up male and female hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive Taiwanese transplant recipients from the National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan, between July 1989 and January 1999. Biochemical, virologic, and serologic parameters and liver-related mortality of patients who discontinued lamivudine 100 mg QD prescribed for posttransplantation hepatitis flare were compared with those in a group of patients who continued use of lamivudine administered for the same indication over the same period of time. Serum HBV DNA levels were checked in all patients before and after discontinuation of lamivudine, and after resumption of lamivudine treatment and in patients with breakthrough hepatitis flare. Results: A total of 39 HBsAg-positive transplant recipients (mean [SD] age, 45 [10.0] years) were identified during regular follow-up visits. Nine patients discontinued lamivudine use; 11 patients who continued it were selected as a control group. No significant between-group differences were observed in mean (SD) age (46 [14.0] vs 45 [6.9] years), sex (men/women,vs 1), type of transplant received (heart/kidney,vs ), or pretransplantation liver function test results. The reasons for discontinuation were informed patient decision (4 patients); YMDD mutation (2); self-discontinuation without physician consultation (2); and pregnancy (1). Of those who discontinued lamivudine, serum HBV DNA was undetectable at a mean of 30 (range, 9-47) months' follow-up in 6 (66.7%) of 9 patients. Lamivudine treatment was resumed in 3 patients on reappearance of HBV DNA, and a subsequent rapid decline in the serum HBV DNA was observed. The liver-related mortality rate was not significantly higher in patients who discontinued treatment compared with continuously treated patients (both, 0%). The between-group difference in overall mortality rates was not significant (22.2% and 18.2%, respectively). Conclusions: This case series illustrated a variety of clinical situations in which discontinuation of lamivudine treatment prescribed for posttransplantation hepatitis flare may occur. However, liver-related mor tality was not increased in these patients compared with those who continued lamivudine treatment.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1327-1334
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Therapeutics
Issue number9
StatePublished - 09 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • heart
  • hepatitis B virus
  • kidney
  • lamivudine
  • recipient
  • transplant


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