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Liver Transplantation and Hepatitis B

John J. Poterucha, MD; and Russell H. Wiesner, MD
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Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN 55905 Requests for Reprints: John J. Poterucha, MD, Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905. Current Author Addresses: Drs. Poterucha and Wiesner: Mayo Clinic, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905.

Copyright ©2004 by the American College of Physicians

Ann Intern Med. 1997;126(10):805-807. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-126-10-199705150-00012
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In the United States, 5000 persons die each year of complications of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection. Liver transplantation prolongs life and improves quality of life for patients with many types of chronic liver disease. It has also been used in patients with hepatitis B, many of whom are young and are otherwise good candidates for transplantation. Unfortunately, the early results of transplantation for patients with chronic hepatitis B were discouraging [1]. Survival was poor, and HBV reinfection of the liver graft often resulted in a rapidly progressive course of disease. In contrast, patients who underwent transplantation for hepatitis C have had outcomes similar to those of patients receiving liver transplants for other indications, despite the universal recurrence of hepatitis C virus infection.

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