In advanced stages of polycystic liver disease, often associated with polycystic kidney disease, a curative therapy is liver or combined liver-kidney transplantation.
However, little is known about long-term outcome and quality of life.
Between 1990 and 2003, 36 patients with polycystic liver or combined liver-kidney disease underwent liver or liver-kidney transplantation.
Main indications for liver transplantation were cachexia, muscle atrophy, loss of weight, recurrent cyst infections, portal hypertension, and ascites.
Dr Gabriele Kirchner and colleagues from Germany assessed 2 anonymous questionnaires addressing quality of life and social status in these patients.
The research team reported that 5 patients died due to sepsis or myocardial infarction with pneumonia, all within 61 days after transplantation.
The follow-up time of the remaining 31 patients ranged from 5 to 156 months, with a mean of 62 months.
|Loss of appetite, and vomiting improved after transplantation|
Of the 23 answered the questionnaires, 91% of patients felt much better or better, only 9% felt worse than before.
The researchers found that 52% of patients participated in sports regularly.
The team noted that fatigue, physical fitness, loss of appetite, and vomiting improved significantly after transplantation.
Physical attractiveness and interest in sex increased as well.
Professional occupation did not change for 71% of patients.
The team observed that family situation before and after transplantation changed in 1 case only.
In addition, 78% of patients said they would opt for transplantation again, while 17% were undecided.
The researchers noted that 1 patient would not repeat transplantation.
Dr Kirchner's team concludes, “In conclusion, patients with advanced polycystic liver or polycystic liver-kidney disease have an excellent survival rate and an improved quality of life after liver or combined liver-kidney transplantation.”