Liver transplantation for alcoholic liver disease: Lessons learned and unresolved issues

Abstract : The use of liver transplantation (LT) as a treatment for alcoholic liver disease (ALD) has been highly controversial since the beginning. The ever increasing shortage of organs has accentuated the low priority given to patients suffering from ALD, which is considered a "self-inflicted" condition. However, by improving the long-term survival rates, making them similar to those from other indications, and recognizing that alcoholism is a primary disease, ALD has become one of the most common indications for LT in Europe and North America, a situation thought unfathomable thirty years ago. Unfortunately, there are still many issues with the use of this procedure for ALD. There are significant relapse rates, and the consequences of excessive drinking after LT range from asymptomatic biochemical and histological abnormalities to graft failure and death. A minimum three-month period of sobriety is required for an improvement in liver function, thus making LT unnecessary, and to demonstrate the patient's commitment to the project, even though a longer abstinence period does not guarantee lower relapse rates after LT. Recent data have shown that LT is also effective for severe alcoholic hepatitis when the patient is unresponsive to corticosteroids therapy, with low relapse rates in highly selected patients, although these results must be confirmed before LT becomes a standard procedure in this setting. Finally, LT for ALD is accompanied by an increased risk of de novo solid organ cancer, skin cancer, and lymphoproliferative disorders, which has a large impact on the survival rates.
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Contributeur : Cécile Nowak <>
Soumis le : mardi 27 novembre 2018 - 10:30:08
Dernière modification le : mardi 28 mai 2019 - 10:42:02

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José Ursic-Bedoya, Stéphanie Faure, Hélène Donnadieu-Rigole, Georges Philippe Pageaux. Liver transplantation for alcoholic liver disease: Lessons learned and unresolved issues. World Journal of Gastroenterology, Baishideng Publishing Group Co. Limited, 2015, 21 (39), pp.10994-1002. ⟨10.3748/wjg.v21.i39.10994⟩. ⟨hal-01935893⟩

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