Efficacy of lamivudine for the treatment of hepatitis B virus infection after liver transplantation in children

Rivka Shapira, Eytan Mor, Nathan Bar-Nathan, Etienne M. Sokal, Ran Tur-Kaspa, Gabriel Dinari, Ziv Ben-Ari*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background. There is at present very little information about hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection in children after liver transplantation. This is the first study to assess the safety and efficacy of lamivudine in this patient population. Methods. We describe three children aged 5-14 years who underwent liver transplantation for fulminant hepatitis A, hyperoxaluria, and cystic fibrosis. Despite adequate immunoprophylaxis, two of the children who were serum hepatitis B surface antigen-positive before transplantation (HBV DNA-negative by hybridization) had a reactivation of the disease, and one had a de novo HBV infection, at 12-18 months after transplantation. Lamivudine 3 mg/kg was administered on a compassionate-use basis for 14-36 months. Results. After 1 month of therapy, HBV DNA disappeared from the serum in all patients by hybridization and in two patients by polymerase chain reaction. In all three children, alanine transaminase levels normalized. One child developed lamivudine resistance after 22 months with no evidence of hepatic decompensation. Repeated liver histological studies revealed progression of hepatic fibrosis in one child. All children remained serum hepatitis B surface antigen and hepatitis B e antigen-positive. No adverse effects of the drug were noted. Conclusion. Lamivudine is beneficial and well tolerated in children with HBV infection after liver transplantation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)333-336
Number of pages4
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


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