BACKGROUND/AIMS: Anti-viral therapy using hepatitis B immune globulin and lamivudine could not prevent HBV recurrence after liver transplantation (LT) completely. Adefovir dipivoxil is a acyclic nucleotide phosphate analogue and known to have potent anti-HBV effect. In this study, we analyzed the therapeutic effect of adefovir for recurrent or de novo HBV infection after LT. METHODS: From December 2002 to October 2004, adefovir was administered in 12 post-LT patients of HBV infection (11 recurrent and 1 de novo infection). In these patients, lamivudine and other combined therapies were used before the introduction of adefovir. Thereafter, adefovir combined with lamivudine was administered to all patients. RESULTS: The duration of adefovir administration was 5.5-18 (median, 15.5) months. The median values of serum AST and ALT levels were significantly reduced from 86+/-80 IU/L and 140+/-103 IU/L, respectively before the adefovir administration to 42+/-19 IU/L and 38+/-33 IU/L after 2 months of administration. This trend of improved liver function persisted throughout the follow-up period. HBeAg seroconversion was achieved in 4 of 10 patients (40%) and HBsAg seroconversion was observed in 1 of 10 patients (10%). HBV DNA levels have decreased to undetectable levels by hybridization assay in 6 of 7 patients within the first 2 months of therapy. Nephrotoxicity and hypophosphatemia were not found in all of these patients. CONCLUSIONS: Based on this preliminary result, adefovir dipivoxil seems to be an effective and safe antiviral agent leading to viral inhibition and clinical improvement in post-LT patients with recurrent or de novo HBV infection.
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