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Liver transplants can be successful in HIV patients with Hepatitis B

A new study on HIV patients who also had Hepatitis B virus (HBV) found that better outcomes are possible if they are referred early for transplant and treated with a combination of drugs for HBV. It is essential to monitor the HBV status of these patients, however, in order to control the emergence of drug-resistant HBV infection.

The results of this study appear in the May 2006 issue of Liver Transplantation, the official journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS). The journal is published on behalf of the societies by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and is available online via Wiley InterScience at http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/livertransplantation.

In the past, HIV patients were largely excluded from consideration for liver transplants due to high death rates from HIV-related complications. However, in recent years HIV-related deaths have declined due to the development of highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART). At the same time, a greater number of deaths are due to liver complications (such as those caused by HBV) have been seen in HIV-infected persons. Simultaneously, there have been advances in immunosuppression and the treatment of post-transplant complications, leading to an increasing number of transplant centers performing liver transplants on HIV-infected patients. Outcomes for HBV patients undergoing liver transplants have improved, overall, in recent years, but until now it was not known how HIV patients with HBV fared when undergoing liver transplantation.

In the first study to assess the outcomes of HBV-HIV liver transplant candidates, researchers led by Norah A. Terrault of the University of California in San Francisco, followed 35 HBV-HIV patients referred to UCSF for liver transplantation between July 2000 and September 2002. Of these, nine (26 per
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Contact: Amy Molnar
amolnar@wiley.com
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
1-May-2006


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