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Clin Liver Dis. 2007 May;11(2):283-9.

Liver transplantation for alcoholic liver disease.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, Section of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, H5/615 Clinical Sciences Center, 600 Highland Avenue, Madison, WI 53711, USA.


Alcoholism is a disease of remission and relapse. A lapse in abstinence tends to be viewed as a failure to commit to abstinence, and an acknowledged relapse may lead to the patient's removal from the liver transplant list; however, such a relapse may actually offer insight into alcoholism. Liver transplant physicians should consider recognizing lapses in abstinence as slips that indicate a need for treatment of alcoholism. Further research should address which alcoholic liver patients suffer relapses and how alcohol relapse affects the ability to maintain abstinence before or after transplantation.

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