Safety and immunogenicity of hepatitis A vaccine in patients with chronic liver disease

Acute hepatitis A infection in individuals with pre-existing chronic liver disease may cause severe illness and fulminant hepatic failure. This multicenter study compared the safety and immunogenicity of inactivated hepatitis A vaccine in patients with chronic liver disease and healthy subjects. A total of 475 subjects older than 18 years received two doses of inactivated hepatitis A vaccine. Local injection site symptoms were the only common adverse events. After one dose, 93% of healthy subjects developed antibodies against hepatitis A virus compared to 73% of subjects with chronic hepatitis C and 83% of subjects with chronic liver disease form non-viral causes. However, greater than 94% of all subjects had antibodies against hepatitis A virus after receiving two doses of vaccine. In conclusion, hepatitis A vaccine is safe and most likely effective in individuals with chronic liver diseases.

Copyright, 1998, Columbia University Division of Gastroenterology

HIS REVIEW was written by Howard J. Worman, M.D., Departments of Medicine and of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032. Dr. Worman has more reviews available at his Current Papers in Liver Disease site.

Keeffe, E. B., Iwarson, S., McMahon, B. J., Lindsay, K. L., Koff, R. S., Manns, M., Baumgarten, R., Wiese, M., Fourneau, M., Safary, A., Clemens, R., and Drause, D. S. 1998. Safety and immunogenicity of hepatitis A vaccine in patients with chronic liver disease. Hepatology. 27:881-886.

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