BACKGROUND: Hepatitis B (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) virus infections are major risk factors affecting long-term morbidity and mortality after renal transplantation. Hepatitis prevalence is subject to geographical variations. OBJECTIVE: To compare and analyze the geographical prevalence, risk factors and impact of HBV and HCV infection in multinational cohorts of renal transplant recipients. METHODS: From 1989 - 2002, data on 12,856 kidney transplant recipients in 37 countries were collected within the prospective MOST (Multinational Observational Study in Transplantation). Subgroup analyses of hepatitis-related prevalence, risk factors and impact were conducted on patients whose HBV and HCV status was available at time of transplantation. Countries were substratified according to population prevalence of > or = 5% HBV or > or = 10% HCV. RESULTS: The prevalence of HBV was 2.9%, of HCV 8.7% and of HBV together with HCV 0.4%. Risk factors for hepatitis infection in renal transplant recipients were long dialysis time, retransplantation and blood transfusions. At each study endpoint up to 5 years after transplantation, no significant differences in graft function were observed, although the 1-year acute rejection rate tended to be lower in HCV+ patients. At 5 years post-transplant, there were no differences between the subgroups and regions regarding infections, post-transplant diabetes mellitus or malignancies including PTLD. CONCLUSIONS: Overall, HCV infections are more prevalent than HBV. Despite large geographical differences in prevalence, HBV and HCV status did not appear to have a significant impact on renal graft function, infections, malignancies and post-transplant diabetes mellitus up to 5 years after renal transplantation throughout the MOST countries.
2009. Vol. 71, no 4, 423-429 p.