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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.

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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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