Serologic evidence of resolved hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection has been associated with reactivation of hepatitis after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT), but the true impact of this finding is unknown. We conducted a retrospective matched-control analysis of the outcomes of 76 patients with positive HBV core antibody (HBcAb) and negative HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) at the time of allo-HSCT for hematologic or solid malignancies. Control patients (matched controls), with negative serology for HBV and other viral hepatitides, were matched by age, diagnosis, disease risk, intensity of conditioning regimen, and donor type. In addition, the HBcAb-positive patients and all seronegative patients (all controls, n = 1858) undergoing transplantation during the same period were compared to adjust for other confounding effects. Patient characteristics and baseline hepatic function studies were similar in the HBcAb-positive and matched control groups. The cumulative incidence of hepatitis B reactivation (defined as the emergence of HBsAg in serum) was 11.6% at 3 years. There were no significant differences in overall survival, relapse, nonrelapse mortality, and incidence of acute graft-versus-host disease between the HBcAb-positive and control groups. Our data suggest that seropositivity for HBcAb and seronegativity for HBsAg at the time of transplantation does not seem to adversely affect outcome after allo-HSCT.
Copyright 2010 American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.