Prevalence and characteristics of hepatitis E virus infection in kidney transplant recipients: A single-center experience in Japan.Transpl Infect Dis. 2019 Apr; 21(2):e13033.TI
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infection can lead to chronic hepatitis in solid organ transplant recipients. To investigate whether HEV infection influences outcomes following kidney transplantation, we examined the prevalence of HEV infection and clinical characteristics of kidney transplant recipients in our hospital.
Our cross-sectional study included 184 kidney transplant recipients. Blood samples were obtained from all patients to detect anti-HEV immunoglobulin (Ig)A, IgM, and IgG by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and HEV RNA by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction. Clinical data were collected from medical charts for all patients.
The prevalence of anti-HEV IgG was 8/184 (4.3%). Anti-HEV IgA, anti-HEV IgM, and HEV RNA were not detected in any patients. Compared to their anti-HEV IgG-negative counterparts, anti-HEV IgG-positive patients were significantly older at the time of transplantation, and they were more likely to receive kidneys from deceased donors. No significant differences in other characteristics such as the prevalence of primary cause of end-stage renal disease, blood transfusion, and immunosuppressive therapy use; liver and renal function; and the frequencies of hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus infection were observed according to the patients' anti-HEV IgG status.
HEV infection had no significant influence on the outcomes of kidney transplantation at our institution. However, HEV infection should be recognized in kidney transplant recipients similarly as hepatitis B and hepatitis C virus infection in cases of liver dysfunction.