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Transpl Int. 2000;13 Suppl 1:S174-8.

Long-term medical and psycho-social evaluation of patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation for alcoholic liver disease.

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Gastroenterology Unit, University Hospital, Padua, Italy.


The major concern in transplanting patients with alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is the high rate of alcohol recidivism. Our aim was to assess the long-term outcome of liver transplantation (OLT) in a group of ALD patients in terms of post-OLT alcohol recidivism and its relationship with pre-OLT psychosocial variables and medical follow up. Fifty-one ALD patients underwent strict medical and psychosocial evaluation before and after OLT. Alcohol abuse was recorded in 60% and alcohol dependence in 40% of patients before OLT. The 5-year survival was similar to the one observed in non-ALD transplanted patients (64 vs 56%). Alcohol recidivism was observed in 33% of transplanted patients, 64% of whom were occasional and 36% were heavy drinkers. The admission of alcoholism by the patient and his/her family prior to OLT significantly predicted abstinence after OLT. A multidisciplinary approach evaluating medical and psycho-social variables before OLT and a close follow up after OLT are mandatory for ALD patients.

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