Chronic renal failure is a frequent complication in liver transplantation. Telbivudine, anti-hepatitis B virus (HBV) nucleoside, can improve renal function. It is interesting if using telbivudine for prophylaxis of HBV recurrence has additional value on renal function improvement. 120 liver transplant recipients with lamivudine prophylaxis for HBV recurrence were 1 : 1 randomized into lamivudine-continuous () and telbivudine-replacement () groups. Fifty-eight patients in lamivudine-continuous group and 54 in telbivudine-replacement group completed the study. In telbivudine-replacement group, the estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGRF) was improved from 63.0 ± 16.3 ml/min to 72.8 ± 21.1 ml/min at 12 months after telbivudine administration ( = 0.003). Stratifying the patients according to renal function staging, the eGRF was improved from 74.7 ± 6.9 ml/min to 84.2 ± 16.6 ml/min ( = 0.002) in 32 stage II patients and from 48.2 ± 7.3 ml/min to 59.7 ± 11.8 ml/min in 20 stage III patients after 12 months of telbivudine administration (). Eleven (18.3%) patients with telbivudine developed polyneuritis during the trial and post hoc following-up. In conclusion, renal function was improved by telbivudine in liver transplant recipients with long-term chronic kidney disease. However, the high incidence of polyneuritis induced by telbivudine has to be closely monitored. This trial is registered with ClinicalTrials NCT02447705.
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