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Am J Transplant. 2004 May;4(5):686-93.

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and orthotopic liver transplantation.

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Division of Gastroenterology, School of Medicine, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA 19104-4283, USA.


Obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are becoming increasingly common medical problems in the developed world, often in the setting of the metabolic or insulin resistance syndrome (IRS). It is predicted that by the year 2025 > 25 million Americans may have NASH-related liver disease. NASH and NAFLD also affect the donor population. The use of steatotic donor livers for liver transplantation (LT) is associated with an increased risk of primary nonfunction (PNF) in the allograft. There is particular reluctance to use steatotic livers for living donor LT. There is indirect evidence to suggest that patients undergoing LT for cirrhosis resulting from NASH may have poorer outcome, despite careful selection of LT candidates. Indeed it is likely that many potential LT candidates with NASH are excluded from LT due to co-morbid conditions related to IRS. The post-LT patient is at risk of several components of IRS, such as diabetes mellitus, hypertension, hyperlipidaemia and obesity and there is increasing recognition of de novo and recurrent NAFLD and NASH after LT. Thus NAFLD and NASH affect all aspects of LT including donors, patients in evaluation and the LT recipient.

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