Emerging data suggest that the hepatitis B virus (HBV) genotype and the precore and core promoter variants impact the outcome of orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) for hepatitis B. The aim of this study was to determine if there is a correlation between HBV genotype, precore and core promoter variants, and pre- and post-OLT outcomes. Serum samples from patients participating in the National Institutes of Health HBV-OLT study were tested for HBV genotype and precore and core promoter variants. A total of 123 patients were studied: 43% were Asians, 46% were Caucasians, and 8% were African Americans. HBV genotypes A (35%) and C (35%) were the most prevalent, followed by genotypes D and B. Precore and core promoter variants were detectable in 44% and 90% of patients. Patients with genotype C were more likely to have hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) at listing (P < 0.001). Waitlist mortality was highest among patients with genotype D, while posttransplant mortality was highest among patients with genotype C. Precore or core promoter variants did not correlate with pre- or post-OLT survival. In conclusion, in this US patient population, patients with genotype C were more likely to have HCC; at the time of transplant listing and to die after transplant than patients with non-C genotypes. Patients with genotype D had the highest posttransplant survival, but this was offset by higher waitlist mortality. Our study suggests that HBV genotypes but not precore or core promoter variants may have an impact on pre- and post-OLT outcomes of hepatitis B patients.
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