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Hepatitis B treatments improve outcomes in liver transplant patients

Category: Liver Diseases

Improved hepatitis B treatments may increase the ability of the body to accept liver transplants and decrease the need for a second transplant, according to a new study from the Mayo Clinic.

The study found that patients with hepatitis B who received a liver transplant between 2003 and 2005 were 50 percent less likely to need a second transplant within three years compared to hepatitis B patients who received a new liver a decade before.

Liver tests of individuals with hepatitis B often reveal significant damage due the infection. It is a major cause of the kind of damage that can lead to liver failure. The disease often results in conditions that require a liver transplant, but can continue causing damage even after patients receive a new organ.

The research team said that improvements in hepatitis treatments have led to an increased ability to control the disease, which has improved the liver health of individuals suffering from the hepatitis B.

"Our results show that transplant outcome is consistently improving for patients with hepatitis B with a significant decrease in need for second transplants," said lead researcher Ray Kim. "In the past 10 years, new medications have improved our ability to control hepatitis B."

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