Objective: The reactivation rate of dormant hepatitis B virus (HBV) in the liver is between 4.1% and 41.5% in immune-compromised patients. The disappearance of hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs) can be an alarm for hepatitis B reactivation. In this study, the changes in serological status, reactivation rates, and antiviral prophylaxis rates were evaluated.
Materials and Methods: A retrospective study was conducted involving patients who were followed up at Erciyes University HSCT Center between January 2018 and July 2019. The demographic data, type of hematological disease, pre- and post-transplant status of HBV, presence of antiviral prophylaxis, and frequency of hepatitis B flare were evaluated.
Results: One hundred and seven patients were included in this study. The median follow-up duration was 18 months. New chemotherapy protocols were initiated in 36 patients due to progression and in 23 patients with a diagnosis of graft-versus-host disease. Anti-HBs levels decreased in 60% of the patients, and anti-HBs levels decreased to below the protective level in 13% of the patients. Among the 107 patients, 38 had resolved hepatitis B infection before transplantation, and 20 and four of 18 patients (22%) who did not receive antiviral prophylaxis developed HBV seroconversion and hepatitis B flare. The median levels of anti-HBs titers after transplantation were 167 IU/L and 15 IU/L in groups that received and did not receive antiviral prophylaxis, respectively (p=0.028).
Conclusion: Antiviral prophylaxis should be administered in patients positive for hepatitis B core antibody before hematopoietic stem-cell transplantation. Measuring HBV serological parameters at regular intervals is essential in the high-risk group.