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J Hepatol. 2010 May;52(5):759-64. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2009.12.021. Epub 2010 Feb 18.

The place of liver transplantation in the treatment of severe alcoholic hepatitis.

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Section of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, H6/516 CSC, University of Wisconsin Hospitals and Clinics, 600 Highland Ave, Madison, WI 53792, USA.


Although most patients with alcoholic liver disease experience positive outcomes following liver transplantation, data on the outcome after liver transplantation in patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis are limited. Furthermore, predicting which patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis will maintain sobriety after transplantation is especially difficult. We review the arguments in favour and against extending liver transplantation to selected patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis. In conclusion, we propose that liver transplantation should be a rescue option for occasional patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis who meet the following criteria: those with severe alcoholic hepatitis that has failed medical management, who fulfil all other standard criteria for transplantation, including a thorough psychosocial assessment, yet who are unlikely to survive a mandatory 6-month abstinence period.

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