Hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from non-replicative hepatitis B virus carriers is safe

Celalettin Üstün, Ramazan Idilman, Günhan Gürman, Muhit Özcan, Gülen Akyol, Hamdi Akan, Osman Ilhan, Meral Beksaç, Akin Uysal, Nahide Konuk, Selim Karayalçln, Aylar Poyraz, David Van Thiel, Haluk Koç

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Background/Aims: Hepatitis B virus can cause serious problems in individuals undergoing organ transplantation. The aim of this study was to evaluate the hepatic events among HBs-Ag positive recipients and HBs-Ag negative recipients who received products from hepatitis B virus carriers. Methods: A total of 151 patients received an allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation at the Department of Hematology-Oncology, University of Ankara, between June 1989 and June 1998. Among these, eight HBs-Ag positive and four HBs-Ag negative recipients received a product from a hepatitis B virus positive donor. The median follow-up period for these 12 patients was 13.2 months. Results: Three of the eight HBs-Ag positive recipients died (one from hepatic failure); of the remainder, two are HBs-Ag negative, two HBs-Ag positive with normal liver injury tests and one HBs-Ag positive with elevated ALT levels. Of the four HBs-Ag negative recipients who received stem cells from a hepatitis B positive donor, two died; none of the patients in this group became HBs-Ag positive after transplantation. Conclusion: Hepatitis B virus infection is a common problem in patients being considered for allogeneic hematopoetic stem cell transplantation, especially in areas where hepatitis B virus infection is endemic. We believe that the presence of HBs- Ag positivity is not an absolute contraindication for allogeneic hematopoetic stem cell transplantation unless the hepatitis B virus is in a replication phase.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)202-209
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Hepatology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Aug 1999


  • Adoptive immunity
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Immunosuppression
  • Liver
  • Stem cell transplantation


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