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Liver Transpl. 2012 Jan;18(1):29-37. doi: 10.1002/lt.22435.

Excellent posttransplant survival for patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in the United States.

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Department of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology, Veterans Affairs Puget Sound Health Care System and University of Washington, 1959 N.E. Pacific Street, Seattle, WA 98195, USA.


Because of the ongoing epidemics of obesity and diabetes, nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) may become a leading indication for liver transplantation. There are concerns about the posttransplant survival of patients with NASH because of associated cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors. We aimed to determine recent trends in the proportion of patients undergoing transplantation for NASH-related cirrhosis in the United States and to estimate their posttransplant survival. We used data provided by the United Network for Organ Sharing for first-time adult cadaveric liver transplants performed in the United States between January 1, 1997 and October 31, 2010 (n = 53,738). The proportion of liver transplants performed for NASH-related cirrhosis increased dramatically from 1.2% in 1997-2003 to 7.4% in 2010 when NASH was the fourth most common indication for transplantation. The posttransplant survival of patients with NASH (n = 1810) at 1 (87.6%), 3 (82.2%), and 5 years (76.7%) was superior to the survival of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, hepatitis C virus, alcoholic liver disease, acute hepatic necrosis, hemochromatosis, or cryptogenic liver disease and was inferior to the survival of only 4 groups of patients (those with primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, autoimmune hepatitis, or hepatitis B virus). In conclusion, NASH-related cirrhosis is increasing rapidly as an indication for liver transplantation in the United States and is associated with excellent posttransplant survival.

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