Emergency living related liver transplantation for fulminant reactivation of hepatitis B virus after unrelated marrow transplantation

Clin Transplant. 2003 Apr;17(2):121-5. doi: 10.1034/j.1399-0012.2003.00022.x.


We report a unique case of emergency living related donor orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) for late fulminant reactivation of hepatitis B virus (HBV) after matched unrelated bone marrow transplantation (BMT) for chronic myeloid leukemia (CML). Cessation of lamivudine after BMT for HBV positive patients may carry risks of late fatal HBV reactivation. Similar to fulminant HBV reactivation in the general population, OLT under resumption of lamivudine can be life saving. In our case, concomitantly molecular relapse of CML at the time of liver failure was also cleared by OLT, possibly via a 'liver-graft vs. leukemia' effect. Liver rejection (graft vs. graft disease) was mild due to inherent immunocompromise of the marrow graft. Hence BMT recipients in stable remission should not be denied the opportunity for life-saving solid organ transplantation. A choice of marrow and liver donors with innate HBV immunity may be needed to give the additional advantage of long-term HBV clearance.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Bone Marrow Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Emergencies
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B / complications*
  • Hepatitis B / etiology
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Myelogenous, Chronic, BCR-ABL Positive / therapy
  • Liver Failure / etiology*
  • Liver Failure / surgery*
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Living Donors