Outcomes of liver transplantation in patients with cirrhosis due to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis versus patients with cirrhosis due to alcoholic liver disease

Vishal Bhagat, Ayse L Mindikoglu, Carmine G Nudo, Eugene R Schiff, Andreas Tzakis, Arie Regev
Liver Transplantation 2009, 15 (12): 1814-20
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) is becoming a common cause of liver cirrhosis requiring liver transplantation (LT). Cardiovascular complications related to metabolic syndrome and NASH recurrence in the transplanted liver may affect the outcome of LT in these patients. We compared the outcomes of LT for NASH cirrhosis and alcoholic cirrhosis (ETOH) in a large transplant center. A retrospective chart review was performed for all patients who underwent LT for cryptogenic cirrhosis with the NASH phenotype (the NASH group) or ETOH (the ETOH group) at the University of Miami from January 1997 to January 2007. There was no significant difference in survival between the NASH and ETOH groups, despite a trend toward lower survival in the former (P = 0.1699). Sepsis was the leading cause of posttransplant death in both groups, and it was followed by cardiovascular causes in the NASH group (26% versus 7% in the ETOH group, P = 0.21) and malignancies in the ETOH group (29% versus 0% in the NASH group, P = 0.024). Recurrent steatohepatitis (33% versus 0%, P < 0.0001) and acute rejection (41% versus 23%, P < 0.023) were significantly more frequent in the NASH group than in the ETOH group. There was no difference in graft failure between the groups (24% in the NASH group versus 18% in the ETOH group, P = 0.3973). In conclusion, despite a numerical trend favoring the ETOH group, there were no statistically significant differences in posttransplant survival and cardiovascular mortality between the NASH and ETOH groups. Acute rejection and recurrent steatohepatitis were significantly more frequent in the NASH group but did not lead to higher rates of retransplantation.

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