Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 11817211
Viral hepatotropic infections may lead to diagnostic and therapeutic problems in hemodialysis patients and kidney recipients. The parenteral and community-acquired routes of contamination of hepatitis B and C viruses explain their high frequency in this population. Their impact, because the immunosuppressive treatments, is harmful with a decrease in patients and allografts survival; cirrhosis is a contra-indication for renal transplantation since associated with a bad short-term prognosis and may require a combined kidney-liver transplantation. Thus, a liver biopsy is recommended in order to evaluate the histopathological severity of the liver disease (stage and grade) and to precise if an antiviral treatment appears necessary, especially because interferon-alpha, the main treatment of hepatitis B and C infections, is contra-indicated in kidney recipients because of the risk of graft rejection. In summary, the diagnosis of viral hepatotropic infections has to be early undergone and its pathological impact has to be evaluated by a liver biopsy. The best treatment has to be prophylactic (vaccination against hepatitis B virus and the respect of universal hygiene rules for hepatitis C virus).