Viral hepatitis and kidney transplantation

Ming Kuen Lai*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Many etiologic factors can cause hepatic dysfunction in renal transplant recipients. Hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection are the major causes of hepatitis in such patients. Taiwan is all endemic area for HBV infection, and HCV infection is also quite common among Taiwanese patients with end-stage renal disease. Whether renal transplantation can be safely performed in these patients is controversial. Advances in understanding of the natural course and improved treatment results in viral hepatitis patients in recent years have gradually improved the outlook for renal transplantation in such patients. Because of the severe shortage of organ donors worldwide, research efforts have also been directed at studying the safety and feasibility of using kidneys from donors infected with HBV or HCV. Short-term results are good for renal transplantation in HBV- or HCV- infected recipients, as well as for recipients who receive HBV- or HCV- infected kidneys. Long-term results show that these patients are at greater risk for hepatic disorders and have poorer outcomes than cohorts without infection, although their survival is better than that of patients with HBV or HCV infection who remain on dialysis. To plan effective treatment strategies, renal transplant physicians should be alert to the occurrence of hepatitis among these patients and realize its impact on renal transplant recipients in terms of increased morbidity/mortality and altered pharmacokinetics of immunosuppressive drugs. Hepatitis in renal transplant recipients is a great challenge for both transplant physicians and hepatologists. Many unresolved issues need further investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-811
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the Formosan Medical Association
Issue number12
StatePublished - 12 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Hepatitis
  • Hepatitis B
  • Hepatitis C
  • Kidney transplantation


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