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Transplantation. 2000 Aug 15;70(3):477-80.

Increased incidence of chronic rejection in adult patients transplanted for autoimmune hepatitis: assessment of risk factors.

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  • 1Liver and Hepatobiliary Unit, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, UK.



It remains uncertain whether autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), as an original indication for orthotopic liver transplantation (OLTX), predisposes to the development of chronic rejection (CR) after surgery and published reports on heterogeneous groups of patients provided conflicting data. In this work we analyzed the incidence and risk factors for CR in a large cohort of adult patients transplanted for AIH in our unit.


A total of 1190 adult patients received OLTX in our center between 1982 and 1998. A total of 77 patients (6.5%) were transplanted for AIH and 12 (15.6%) patients from this group developed clinical and histological features of CR within a median time of 3.5 months after OLTX. Patients with AIH who developed CR were younger than other AIH patients at OLTX (32 vs. 44.2 ys; P=0.015) and more often had histological features of moderate or severe acute rejection (83 vs. 34%; P=0.002) on early post-OLTX biopsies. The incidence of CR in AIH patients was significantly higher than in subjects transplanted for other indications such as primary biliary cirrhosis (8.2%; P<0.05), primary sclerosing cholangitis (5.2%; P<0.05) or alcoholic cirrhosis (2.0%; P<0.001). Also, we observed a tendency to decreased incidence of CR with time in all transplanted subjects.


Apart from younger age at OLTX and higher incidence of severe acute rejection, patients with AIH who developed CR did not differ from other subjects transplanted for this indication. Unlike other studies, not stratified by diagnosis, recipient CMV negative status, young donor age, and HLA DR matching were not identified as risk factors for CR in AIH.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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