The number of patients on the kidney waiting list is increasing, creating a shortage of donor organs. To solve this problem, there is an interest in transplanting organs formerly considered marginal or undesirable. We performed seven (four living related, three cadaveric) kidney transplants from hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg)-positive donors. Hepatitis B e antigen (HBeAg) and hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA were negative in the living donors and were unknown in cadaveric donors. Liver function tests were in the normal range in all of the donors. All of the recipients were HBsAg-negative and hepatitis B surface antibody (anti-HBs)-positive. Recipients receiving kidneys from cadaveric donors were given prophylactic lamivudine treatment postoperatively. Anti-HBs remained positive throughout the follow-up period in all but one patient with a cadaveric graft. None of the patients receiving a kidney from an HBsAS positive donor developed clinical HBV infection in a mean follow-up period of 42.6 +/- 36.8 months (range: 16 to 121 months, median 30 months). Liver function tests remained in the normal ranges in all patients. All the grafts are still functioning with a mean serum creatinine level of 1.6 +/- 0.85 mg/dL. In conclusion, transplants from HBsAg-positive and HBeAg-/HBV DNA-negative donors seem to carry no risk to the recipients who are immune to HBV. Even cadaveric donors with HBsAg-positivity and unknown HBeAg/HBV DNA status can be used with caution in selected recipients without significantly affecting graft and patient outcome.