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J Clin Gastroenterol. 2010 Jan;44(1):52-7. doi: 10.1097/MCG.0b013e3181a390a8.

Long term follow-up and outcome of liver transplantation for alcoholic liver disease: a single center case-control study.

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  • 1Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Bologna, Azienda Ospedaliero-Universitaria, Policlinico S. Orsola-Malpighi, Bologna, Italy.



Alcoholic liver cirrhosis (ALC) is a leading indication for orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT).


To investigate the long-term outcome of OLT for ALC compared with patients transplanted for hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection.


From 1987 to 2001, 49 OLT were performed for ALC and 173 for HCV. From these contemporary groups we matched 1:2 ALC patients (cases) to 98 HCV (controls). The following variables were analyzed: survival, retransplantation, rejection, primary nonfunction, infections, de novo tumors, cardiovascular and neurologic complications, and alcoholic recurrence.


Actuarial survival rate at 9 years was comparable for cases and controls. Actuarial graft survival rate at 9 years was significantly higher in cases (78% vs. 60%; P=0.026). The retransplantation rate was higher in controls (21% vs. 4%; P=0.007). Post-OLT complications were not significantly different. The alcoholic recidivism rate was 28% without influence on patients or graft survival, whereas relapse of HCV caused the majority of death in controls (30%; P=0.042). At multivariate analysis retransplantation was the only predictor of patient survival (odds ratio: 4.35; 95% confidence interval: 2.16-8.74; P<0.001), whereas HCV was associated with a 2-fold probability of graft failure (odds ratio: 1.97; 95% confidence interval: 1.02-3.81; P=0.032).


The long-term outcome of OLT for ALC is comparable to that for HCV, even if graft survival is significantly better among ALC. These data support ALC as an excellent indication for OLT.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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