Alcohol Abstinence and Orthotopic Liver Transplantation in Alcoholic Liver Cirrhosis

G. Immordino, M. Gelli, R. Ferrante, C. Ferrari, F. Piaggio, D. Ghinolfi, M. Sturdevant, E. Andorno, N. Morelli, G. Bottino, M. Casaccia, U. Valente

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Patients diagnosed with acute alcoholic hepatitis (AAH) are routinely managed medically and not considered suitable for orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). The eligibility for OLT in these patients has been questioned due to the social stigma associated with alcohol abuse, based on the fact that AAH is "self-induced" with an unacceptably high recidivism rate. Many centers in Europe and the United States require abstinence periods between 6 and 12 months before OLT listing. AAH outcomes in the literature are poor, in particular due to patient noncompliance during the immediate 3 months preceeding OLT. Between January 1997 and December 2007, 246 patients were evaluated in our center for alcoholic liver disease: 133 (54%) were listed for OLT (I-OLT), including 110 (83%) who underwent transplantation and 8 (6%) still listed as well as 15 (11%) removed from consideration. One hundred thirteen (46%) patients had no indication for OLT (NO I-OLT), including 18 (16%) who died, 81 (71%) still monitored, and 14 (12%) lost to follow-up. Patient survival rates post-OLT were 79%, 74%, 68%, and 64% at 1, 3, 5, and 10 years, respectively. Explant (native liver) pathologic examination revealed AAH in 8 (7.2%) patients who underwent OLT. In this group, patient survival and the post-OLT recidivism rate were statistically identical to the overall group of transplant recipients.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1253-1255
Number of pages3
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - May 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Transplantation
  • Medicine(all)


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