A Spanish team assessed the influence of superimposed alcoholic hepatitis on the outcome of liver transplantation in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis.
Survival rates of 68 patients transplanted for alcoholic cirrhosis were compared with those of 101 patients transplanted for miscellaneous causes.
Within the alcoholic group, explanted livers were searched for data of acute alcoholic hepatitis.
In addition, the survival rate of patients with alcoholic hepatitis superimposed on liver cirrhosis was compared to that of patients with liver cirrhosis alone.
Clinical severity of alcoholic hepatitis was assessed with Maddrey's score.
Survival was found to be similar in alcoholics and patients with other causes of liver disease.
| Even severe alcoholic hepatitis did not affect transplant outcome.
| Journal of Hepatology |
Among patients transplanted for alcoholic cirrhosis, survival was similar in patients with superimposed alcoholic hepatitis (n = 36) and in cases with liver cirrhosis alone (n = 32).
Furthermore, there was no difference in survival between patients with mild (n = 26) and severe (n = 10) alcoholic hepatitis.
Of the alcoholics, 10% returned to ethanol consumption.
Recidivism was not associated with either alcoholic hepatitis in the explanted liver or graft loss.
Santiago Tomé, of the Santiago de Compostela University Hospital Complex, Spain, said on behalf of colleagues, "Survival after liver transplantation in patients with alcoholic cirrhosis plus alcoholic hepatitis detected in the explanted liver is similar to that of patients transplanted for other reasons."
"Even the presence of severe alcoholic hepatitis does not worsen the outcome of liver transplantation for end-stage alcoholic liver disease," it was concluded.