The effect of genciclovir prophylaxis on reinfection of hepatic allograffs by hepatitis B virus (HBV) was studied in 26 patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) for decompensated cirrhosis due to HBV. Patients were randomized to receive either genciclovir (6 rag/kg/day intravenously for a total of 100 days) or acyclovir (10 mg/kg every 8 hours intravenously until discharged end then 800 mg orally every 6 hours) for a total of 100 days after OLT as part of a study of prophylaxis against cytomegalovirus infection. All patients received hepatitis B immunoglobulin (HBIG), 10,000 units intravenously, during the anhepatic phase, daily for the first 7 days after OLT, and then every 4 weeks for 6 months. Seven of 12 (58%) patients in the ganciclovir group developed recurrent HBV, compared with 6/14 (46%) of the acyclovir group (nonsignificant). No significant difference was observed in time to recurrent HBV in the ganciclovir group (mean 13.2 months) compared to the acyclovir group (mean 11 months). Our results suggest that ganciclovir administered prophylactically for 100 days after OLT does not prevent or delay graft reinfection by HBV.
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