Clinical Evidence for Hepatitis B Transmission Resulting from Corneal Transplantation

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PurposeTwo cases of hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection after penetrating keratoplasty are presented.MethodsAn extensive clinical and serologic investigation of these two transplant recipients was performed. In addition, the medical histories, autopsy reports, and specimens of blood from the two deceased corneal tissue donors were retrieved and studied.ResultsSerum from both donors was positive for hepatitis B surface antigen; the clinical history and serologic testing of both recipients strongly suggest that the HBV infection in each case was acquired from donor corneal tissue.ConclusionTo our knowledge, these are the first documented cases of HBV infection after corneal transplantation. Eye banks should continue to screen donors for HBV.

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