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Aug 21, 2015
INTRODUCTION: Skin transplantation is associated with potential risk of infectious disease transmission; however, the exclusion of donors owing to hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection will worsen the shortage of allograft skin supply. We report a paired study to evaluate the potential risk of HBV transmission in skin allografting. METHODS: The presence of HBV DNA in the serum and skin from 37 burn patients with chronic HBV infection (CHB) was monitored by a HBV polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and the positive rates were compared by Fisher's exact probability test. RESULTS: There was a high consistency in the HBV serology profile between HBV DNA PCR (83.78%) and the clinical HBV test. Only 2 patients who were positive for hepatitis B surface antigen, hepatitis B e antigen, and hepatitis B core antibody had detectable HBV DNA in the skin tissue; however, no hepatitis B surface antigen was detected as examined by immunohistochemistry staining. There was a significant difference between the positive rates of HBV DNA in the serum and skin (χc(2) = 27.03; P < .001). CONCLUSIONS: The potential risk for HBV transmission by skin allografting is very low. Given that China has a large population of patients with HBV, the acceptance of skin from donors with CHB to the skin bank would increase the number of tissue donations to meet the urgent medical need for skin transplantation. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.