This study will examine liver tissue to investigate the role of viral infections in
fulminant hepatitis, liver failure, and profound bone marrow failure.
All patients who are undergoing liver biopsy or liver transplantation may participate in
this study. For patients undergoing liver biopsy, a small piece of liver tissue will be
taken from the sample collected during the scheduled biopsy. For patients undergoing liver
transplantation, a small piece of tissue will be collected from the diseased liver that is
to be removed.
Our laboratory has a long-standing interest in viruses that affect the bone marrow. Many
such viruses also may cause hepatitis. One specific syndrome, post-hepatitis aplastic
anemia, suggests that the same agent is responsible for both severe and sometimes fulminant
hepatitis as well as profound bone marrow failure. In investigating the role of viruses in
these diseases, we require small amounts of liver tissue for molecular studies. We request
permission to obtain samples from patients undergoing 1) liver transplantation or 2) liver
biopsy at the time of surgery for purpose of virus discovery, including obtaining control
samples. For liver transplant samples, tissue will be obtained from the removed organ; in
other surgical circumstances, small amounts of tissue will be obtained when the liver is
biopsied for other medical indications. No additional risk to the patient should result
from either procedure.
All patients undergoing open liver biopsy or the removal of liver for purposes of hepatic
transplantation are eligible for participation.
There are no exclusion criteria.