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Transplantation. 1999 May 15;67(9):1231-5.

Carbohydrate deficient transferrin for detection of alcohol relapse after orthotopic liver transplantation for alcoholic cirrhosis.

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  • 1Department of Transplant Surgery, University of Vienna, Austria.

Abstract

Early diagnosis and monitoring of an alcohol relapse in patients after orthotopic liver transplantation for alcoholic cirrhosis is of importance for the long-term outcome. A prospective study of 97 patients who underwent orthotopic liver transplant for alcoholic cirrhosis has been performed. All of the recipients considered for analysis survived for at least 3 months and were under the care of one specialist psychologist. Mean follow-up amounted to 48.5+/-1.4 months. The rates of alcohol relapse at 1 and 3 years after orthotopic liver transplant were 6 and 9%, respectively. Carbohydrate-deficient transferrin is a biological marker for alcohol abuse independently of liver disease and has been used for the first time ever in liver graft recipients. A total of 830 values were included prospectively in the study population. Detection of alcohol relapse had a sensitivity of 92% and a specificity of 98%. Changes in carbohydrate-deficient transferrin levels indicated clandestine and sporadic drinking after transplantation. Furthermore, clinical events were not found to influence carbohydrate-deficient transferrin, either in patients with or without alcoholic relapse. In our opinion, carbohydrate-deficient transferrin is a useful screening marker for alcohol relapse in patients after orthotopic liver transplant for alcoholic cirrhosis, to select those patients who need special attention from the psychologist.

PMID:
10342314
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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