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Racial disparity studied in patients undergoing liver transplantation for hepatitis B
Date:8/27/2009

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) 1.5 to 2 million Americans are infected with the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Prior studies have shown there to be significant racial differences in access to and outcomes of liver transplantation. Recently, doctors from across the U.S. conducted a multicenter retrospective-prospective study of the waitlist status and outcomes of liver transplant patients with HBV infection. This study led by Natalie Bzowej from California Pacific Medical Center and Anna Lok from the University of Michigan and funded by a grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), found there to be similar waitlist and post-transplant outcomes among Asian Americans, African Americans, and Caucasians with HBV. These research findings appear in the September issue of Liver Transplantation, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, published by Wiley-Blackwell.

The NIH HBV liver transplant study had a total of 274 patients (116 Caucasians, 135 Asians and 23 African Americans) enrolled in 15 centers across the U.S. Participants were placed on the United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) liver transplantation recipient waitlist between 1996-2005. The probability of transplantation 1, 3 and 5 years after listing was 53%, 75%, and 88% for African Americans; 48%, 58% and 66% for Asian Americans; and 48%, 57% and 63% for Caucasians. "As expected, the interval between listing and transplantation was shortest for patients with acute liver failure, followed by those with hepatocelluler carcinoma (HCC), and those with endstage cirrhosis. Our research showed transplant indication and Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) score for endstage cirrhosis patients were the only predictors of transplantation, but race was not," said researchers.

Of the total number of study participants, 170 received transplantations between 2001and 2007. The probability of post-transplant survival
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Contact: Dawn Peters
medicalnews@wiley.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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