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.
Infections that come back are often severe. This can lead to
rapid failure of the transplanted liver.
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.footnote 1 Interferon and peginterferon are not used to
prevent reinfection.footnote 1
Liver transplants are most often done
at large medical centers. Transplants are very expensive.
Malet PF (2008). Chronic hepatitis. In DC Dale, DD Federman, eds., ACP Medicine, section 4, chap. 8. Hamilton, ON: BC Decker.
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