Kinetics of hepatitis B virus load and haemodialysis: A prospective study

F. Fabrizi, G. Lunghi, G. Alongi, F. Aucella, F. Barbisoni, S. Bisegna, E. Corghi, P. Faranna, S. Mangano, G. Romei-Longhena, P. Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The control of the spread of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection within dialysis units has been an important goal in the management of patients on regular dialysis but infected patients continue to enter the dialysis system. It is evident that HBV viraemia in hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive patients on dialysis is low but it remains unclear whether haemodialysis per se can contribute to viral load reduction in such patients. HBV DNA was determined in 40 HBsAg-positive patients on maintenance haemodialysis immediately before and at the end of a 4-h haemodialysis session. The same measurements were repeated 48 and 72 h later. Twenty (50%) of 40 HBsAg-positive patients had detectable HBV DNA in serum. Detectable HBV DNA in serum was not predicted by demographic, clinical or biochemical parameters. HBV load decreased in the majority of patients after haemodialysis, although the difference was not significant (29 390 ± 48 820 vs 23 862.8 ± 4 350 copies/mL, NS). There was a strong relationship between mean HBV DNA levels before dialysis and absolute reduction of HBV DNA during haemodialysis sessions (r = 0.75, P = 0.0001). No difference occurred in the magnitude of change in HBV DNA titre when comparing cellulosic to synthetic membranes. Haemodialysis per se leads to a reduction in HBV load in HBsAg-chronic carriers on maintenance dialysis. This phenomenon could explain the low viral loads in these patients. Prospective studies are in progress to identify the mechanisms responsible for reduction in HBV load during haemodialysis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)917-921
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Viral Hepatitis
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2008


  • Dialysis
  • HB viral load
  • Hepatitis B virus
  • Viraemia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Infectious Diseases
  • Virology


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