Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2002 Mar;14(3):231-6.

Colorectal disease in liver allograft recipients -- a clinicopathological study with follow-up.

Author information

  • 1Department of Pathology, University of Edinburgh Medical School, Edinburgh, UK.



To determine the spectrum and outcome of colorectal diseases occurring in adult liver allograft recipients.


A retrospective cohort analysis of clinical, microbiological and histopathological data regarding colorectal disease.


Forty three out of 302 adult primary liver allograft recipients were transplanted and followed up (at median 42 months) at a tertiary referral centre/teaching hospital.


Out of 302 patients, 43 (14%) were investigated (by endoscopy and/or laparotomy) for symptoms of colorectal disease after orthotopic liver transplantation. The symptoms were: diarrhoea (n = 31); per-rectal bleeding (n = 5); and symptoms relating to pre-transplant ulcerative colitis (n = 7). Among the patients without known ulcerative colitis, per-rectal bleeding occurring early after orthotopic liver transplantation was most commonly caused by cytomegalovirus colitis and carried a poor prognosis. Excluding ulcerative colitis, the commonest causes of diarrhoea were Clostridium difficile, cytomegalovirus infection and medications, particularly during the first 2 months after orthotopic liver transplantation. No cases of colorectal graft-versus-host disease, cryptosporidiosis, amoebiasis, atypical mycobacterial infection or post-transplant lymphoproliferative disease were demonstrated. The activity of pre-transplant ulcerative colitis was unchanged or increased after orthotopic liver transplantation. Two further patients developed new-onset ulcerative colitis after orthotopic liver transplantation.


Ulcerative colitis, C. difficile, cytomegalovirus infection and medications are the commonest colorectal causes of morbidity after orthotopic liver transplantation. Adult liver allograft recipients are, however, unlikely to show certain large bowel diseases encountered in other immunosuppressed groups. Amongst non-ulcerative colitis patients, those presenting with diarrhoea show a good outcome with appropriate management, whereas those with per-rectal bleeding have a more guarded prognosis.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk