Immunoprophylaxis using intravenous (IV) hepatitis B immune globulin (HBIG) decreases the recurrence of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). However, IV HBIG is expensive, has significant side effects, and is inconvenient to administer. An alternative approach for prophylaxis using intramuscular (IM) HBIG and oral lamivudine was prospectively evaluated in this study. Ten consecutive patients with cirrhosis with HBV infection who underwent OLT were included in this study. Nine of 10 patients received lamivudine, 150 mg/d, for an average duration of 8.6 months before OLT. Two of 10 patients with detectable HBV DNA at the time of OLT received 10,000 U (45 mL) of IV HBIG daily for 7 consecutive days, followed by 5 mL of IM HBIG weekly for the next 3 weeks, then every 3 weeks. The other 8 patients were HBV DNA negative at OLT and received one dose of IV HBIG (45 mL) during surgery, followed by 5 mL of IM HBIG weekly for 4 weeks, then every 3 weeks. All patients received lamivudine, 150 mg/d, after OLT. During a mean follow-up of 15.6 months, 9 of 10 patients achieved a protective hepatitis B surface antibody (HBsAb) titer greater than 200 IU/L and had no evidence of HBV recurrence. One patient failed to develop an adequate HBsAb titer and developed histological and virological evidence of recurrence. One patient died unrelated to HBV recurrence. Our preliminary data suggest that this combination prophylaxis with IM HBIG and lamivudine is effective and potentially cost saving.
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