Hepatitis B virus vaccine in chronic kidney disease: improved immunogenicity by adjuvants? A meta-analysis of randomized trials

Vaccine. 2012 Mar 16;30(13):2295-300. doi: 10.1016/j.vaccine.2012.01.064. Epub 2012 Jan 26.


Background: Patients with chronic kidney disease typically show an impaired immune response to hepatitis B virus vaccine compared with healthy individuals. A variety of inherited or acquired factors have been implicated in this diminished response. Some authors suggested a benefit with adjuvantation to improve the immunogenicity of existing HBV vaccines.

Aim: To evaluate the efficacy and safety of adjuvantation for hepatitis B virus vaccine in patients with chronic kidney disease.

Methods: Only prospective, randomized clinical trials (RCTs) were included. We used the random effects model of DerSimonian and Laird with heterogeneity and subgroups analyses. The primary end-point of interest was the seroprotection rate after HBV vaccination with recombinant vaccine plus adjuvants (study group) versus recombinant vaccine alone (control group).

Results: We identified ten studies involving 1228 unique patients with chronic kidney disease. Pooling of study results did not show a significant increase in seroprotection rate among study (HBV recombinant vaccine plus adjuvants) versus control (HBV recombinant alone) patients; the pooled odds ratio of seroprotection rate was 1.47 (95% CI: 0.88; 2.46, NS). The pooled OR for seroresponse rate after HBV vaccine (adjuvanted recombinant vaccine versus recombinant vaccine alone) did not change in the subgroup of studies based on novel adjuvant systems (i.e., HBV-AS04 or HBV-AS02), the pooled OR was 2.22 (95% CI, 0.72; 6.78), NS. Q-test for heterogeneity being 10.819 (P=0.004).

Conclusions: Our meta-analysis showed that adjuvanted hepatitis B vaccine did not significantly improve the seroprotection rate in patients with renal insufficiency. These results do not support adjuvantation as an approach to increase the immunogenicity of existing recombinant vaccines towards HBV in this high-risk population.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adjuvants, Immunologic / administration & dosage*
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Hepatitis B / drug therapy
  • Hepatitis B / immunology*
  • Hepatitis B / prevention & control
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies / blood
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / administration & dosage
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines / immunology*
  • Hepatitis B virus / immunology
  • Humans
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / drug therapy
  • Kidney Failure, Chronic / immunology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Randomized Controlled Trials as Topic*
  • Renal Dialysis
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / drug therapy
  • Renal Insufficiency, Chronic / immunology*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / administration & dosage
  • Vaccines, Synthetic / immunology
  • Young Adult


  • Adjuvants, Immunologic
  • Hepatitis B Antibodies
  • Hepatitis B Vaccines
  • Vaccines, Synthetic