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The Transplanted Kidney As a Source of Hepatitis B Infection

JEFFREY L. WOLF, M. D.; HERBERT A. PERKINS, M.D.; MARSHALL T. SCHREEDER, M.D.; and FLAVIO VINCENTI, M.D.
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This study was supported by National Institutes of Health National Research Service Award HL07100.


Ann Intern Med. 1979;91(3):412-413. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-91-3-412
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Hepatitis B infection is relatively common in renal transplant patients. Sources of infection include multiple blood product transfusions, hemodialysis machines, and close contact of the immunosuppressed patient with other dialysis patients (1). We have recently become aware of another previously suspected, but heretofore unproven, source of hepatitis B virus in these patients—the transplanted kidney.

Roughly 1300 renal transplants have been done at the University of California, San Francisco, with increasing reliance on nonrelated cadaver donors. From 11 March 1975 until 1 November 1977, a routine screen by radioimmunoassay for hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg) was done on cadaver-donor sera. During

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