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Liver Transpl Surg. 1997 May;3(3):240-4.

Survival and quality of life after liver transplantation for acute alcoholic hepatitis.

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Division of Transplantation Medicine, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pennsylvania 15213, USA.


The applicability of liver transplantation for ALD remains limited because of ethical arguments and also because of the perception of poor outcome after transplantation. Patients with alcoholic cirrhosis are known to do as well as patients with nonalcoholic liver disease after receiving liver allografts; however, the outcome in patients with severe acute alcoholic hepatitis in this setting is unclear. We studied 9 liver transplant recipients in whom severe acute alcoholic hepatitis was retrospectively diagnosed; 8 had underlying cirrhosis, and 1 had advanced fibrosis. All had Maddrey's discriminant function > 32, and most had hepatic encephalopathy and hepatorenal syndrome. History regarding abstinence was unreliable in some patients. Episodes of acute cellular rejection responded quickly to therapy, and despite recidivism in some patients, long-term survival was comparable to that of patients receiving transplants with alcoholic cirrhosis alone and those with a milder degree of alcoholic hepatitis and cirrhosis. This study suggests that severe acute alcoholic hepatitis may not be an appropriate contraindication for liver transplantation.

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