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Transplantation. 2000 Jul 27;70(2):292-7.

Comparative allograft histology after liver transplantation for cryptogenic cirrhosis, alcohol, hepatitis C, and cholestatic liver diseases.

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Mayo Clinic and Foundation, Rochester, MN 55905, USA.



End-stage liver disease for which no cause can be identified, cryptogenic cirrhosis, is a common indication for liver transplantation. Allograft inflammation and fibrosis have been reported to recur with similar frequencies after liver transplantation for cryptogenic cirrhosis and hepatitis C (HCV).


We determined sequential posttransplant allograft histology in four groups of recipients: 31 transplanted for cryptogenic cirrhosis, 70 for cholestatic etiologies, 40 for alcoholic liver disease, and 56 for HCV. Modified hepatitis activity index (HAI) and fibrosis stage were determined at 4 months, 1 year, and at most recent biopsy posttransplantation.


The prevalence of HAI > or = 2 among cryptogenic recipients was similar to that of cholestatic and alcoholic recipients at 4 months, 1 year, and at most recent evaluation (mean 45+/-17 months posttransplantation). For HCV-infected recipients, the frequency of HAI > or = 2 was more than for cryptogenic recipients at 1 year (52 vs. 29%, P=0.04) and at most recent evaluation (64 vs. 15%, P=0.003). Fibrosis scores for cryptogenic, cholestatic, and alcoholic recipients were similar at all timepoints. The proportion of HCV-infected recipients with fibrosis stage >2 was more than that of cryptogenic recipients at 4 months (29 vs. 12%, P=0.05), 1 years (46 vs. 7%, P=0.0002), and at most recent evaluation (42 vs. 15%, P=0.06). None of the cryptogenic recipients developed cirrhosis.


The frequency of elevated HAI and fibrosis stage in recipients who undergo transplantation for cryptogenic cirrhosis is similar to that of recipients who undergo transplantation for cholestatic etiologies and significantly less than that of HCV-infected recipients. Fibrosis stage and HAI are generally stable after transplantation for cryptogenic cirrhosis. These data do not suggest a viral etiology of liver disease in the majority of patients with cryptogenic cirrhosis.

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