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Transplant Proc. 2005 Mar;37(2):1240-2.

Review of 31 cases of morphologic hepatitis in liver transplant patients not related to disease recurrence.

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Mayo Clinic Jacksonville, Jacksonville, Florida 32256, USA.



We examined the clinical and pathologic features of morphologic hepatitis occurring after liver transplantation (LT) that is unrelated to disease recurrence.


Between February 1998 and December 2003, 704 primary LTs were performed at our center. Patients transplanted for diagnoses with low risk of disease recurrence were considered for our study (n = 282). Those with hepatitis C (HCV), hepatitis B (HBV), primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), and autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) were excluded. Those with morphologic hepatitis comprised our case series and had medical records reviewed for clinical associations, duration, and outcome.


Thirty-one cases were identified. They were transplanted for cryptogenic cirrhosis (n = 13), steatohepatitis (n = 12), alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency (n = 3), tumor (n = 2), and acetaminophen toxicity (n = 1); 22 cases (67%) presented within the first 8 months post-LT (range, 0.5-72 months). Histological activity was mild in 19 and moderate in 12. Associated conditions were identified in 19 patients (57%) with 3 categories being identified: probable drug toxicity (n = 7), systemic infection (n = 4), and mechanical or hemodynamic abnormalities (n = 8). Of the 25 cases that underwent follow-up biopsy 2 to 32 months (mean, 15.5 months) after the index biopsy, 10 cases had resolution and 15 cases had persistence of the infiltrate. One patient had evidence of de novo HBV infection.


Morphologic hepatitis occurred in 11% of patients at low risk for disease recurrence. Associated conditions could be grouped into three categories: drug toxicity, systemic infection, and mechanical or hemodynamic factors. Most cases did not appear to progress or improved over time, with no allograft loss occurring as a result of chronic hepatitis.

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