Background & Aims
HBV recurrence increases morbidity and mortality in HBsAg+ patients undergoing liver transplantation. We aimed to estimate the relative efficacy of combined therapy with hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG) and lamivudine (LAM) versus HBIG monotherapy for preventing HBV-related morbidity and mortality in this setting.
We performed a meta-analysis of clinical trials that met the prespecified criteria and provided data for risk estimation of HBV recurrence in HBsAg+ liver transplant patients receiving HBIG and LAM versus HBIG alone. Databases searched until May 2007 included MEDLINE (Ovid), PubMed, Embase, Toxnet, Scopus, and Web of Science. Literature search and data extraction were conducted independently by 2 study investigators; then 2 other investigators reviewed and screened eligible studies. Odds ratios (ORs) for the risk reduction with HBIG and LAM versus HBIG alone were calculated by using a random-effects model.
Two prospective and 4 retrospective studies were included in the meta-analysis. The OR showing risk reduction in HBV recurrence with HBIG and LAM (n = 193) versus HBIG alone (n = 124) was 0.08 (95% confidence interval [CI], 0.03–0.21). HBV-related death and all-cause mortality could only be assessed in 3 studies each. The ORs showing HBV-related death and all-cause mortality reduction with HBIG and LAM versus HBIG alone were 0.08 (95% CI, 0.02–0.33) and 0.02 (95% CI, 0.06–0.82), respectively.
Although this meta-analysis was limited by small studies and varying levels of immunosuppression, it is apparent that adding LAM to HBIG improved HBV-related morbidity and mortality in HBsAg+ recipients of liver transplants.