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Liver Transplant for Hepatitis B - Topic Overview

During a liver transplant, a surgeon removes your damaged liver. That liver is replaced with a healthy one from an organ donor.

Liver transplants are done to treat long-term (chronic) hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection only after all other treatments have not worked. That's because transplanted organs can become reinfected with HBV.

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  • Infections that come back are often severe. This can lead to rapid failure of the transplanted liver.
  • High doses of hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) are given to try to prevent reinfection.
  • Short-term pre- and post-transplant therapy with a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI) may help prevent reinfection of a transplanted liver. NRTIs include entecavir, lamivudine, and tenofovir.1 Interferon and peginterferon are not used to prevent reinfection.1

Liver transplants are most often done at large medical centers. Transplants are very expensive.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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