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Liver Transplant for Hepatitis B - Topic Overview

During a liver transplant, your damaged liver is removed and replaced with a healthy one from an organ donor.

Liver transplantation is done to treat long-term (chronic) hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection only after all other treatments have not worked, because transplanted organs can become reinfected with HBV.

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  • Recurrent infections are often severe, leading 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-transplantation therapy with a nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitor (NRTI), such as entecavir, lamivudine, and tenofovir, may help prevent reinfection of a transplanted liver.1
  • Interferon and peginterferon are not used to prevent reinfection of a transplanted liver.1

Liver transplants typically are done at large medical centers. Transplantation is 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: October 29, 2012
    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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