Therapy with nucleos(t)ide analogues: Current role in dialysis patients

Fabrizio Fabrizi, Piergiorgio Messa, Vivek Dixit, Paul Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection persists among patients undergoing maintenance dialysis in the industrialized world. Knowledge of the epidemiology and the natural history of HBV infection in dialysis patients has markedly improved but antiviral therapy for hepatitis B remains a significant challenge in this population. A variety of therapeutic options are now available for the treatment of chronic hepatitis B, including potent new nucleos(t)ide analogues, along with standard and pegylated interferon. The most extensive experience in the dialysis population has been with lamivudine. Although several questions about lamivudine use in dialysis patients remain unanswered, it has shown potent antiviral activity: the range of clearance of HBV viremia (HBV DNA) from serum is between 56% and 100% in dialysis patients with chronic hepatitis B. Its major limitation is emergence of resistance. Tolerance to conventional or pegylated interferon monotherapy is poor in the dialysis population. There is limited data regarding adefovir dipivoxil (ADV) therapy in the dialysis population, while very little information is available about the use of the newer agents, tenofovir and entecavir, in patients with renal failure. It is recommended that dialysis patients with persistent HBsAg seropositive status be evaluated for antiviral treatment and that the decision to treat be based on the potential benefits and risks of therapy including life expectancy, candidacy for kidney transplantation, and comorbidities. Hepatitis B is relatively uncommon among patients undergoing dialysis in developed countries and this clearly hampers prospective clinical trials aimed to evaluate the efficacy and safety of therapy with nucleos(t)ide analogues for chronic hepatitis B in this population.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-338
Number of pages10
JournalInternational Journal of Artificial Organs
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2010


  • Dialysis
  • Hepatitis B
  • Interferon
  • Nucleos(t)ide analogues

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biomaterials
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Bioengineering
  • Medicine (miscellaneous)


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