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.
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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.