Evolving frequency and outcomes of liver transplantation based on etiology of liver disease

Ashwani K. Singal, Praveen Guturu, Bashar Hmoud, Yong Fang Kuo, Habeeb Salameh, Russell H. Wiesner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

233 Scopus citations


Background. In the background of availability of better treatments for specific liver diseases and listing of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) as an etiology for liver transplantation (LT), data are unclear on the impact of disease etiology on the frequency of LT and liver posttransplantation outcomes. Methods. The United Network for Organ Sharing database (1994-2009) was queried for adults receiving first LT for primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC; n=3052), primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC; n=3854), hepatitis C virus (HCV; n=15,147), alcoholic cirrhosis (AC; n=8940), HCV+alcohol (n=6066), NASH (n=1368), cryptogenic cirrhosis (CC; n=5856), hepatitis B virus (HBV; n=1816), and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC; n=8588). Graft and patient survival were compared and Cox models were built to determine independent prediction of outcomes by disease etiology. Results. The frequency of LT increased for NASH, HCC, and HCV+alcohol, remained stable for AC, and decreased for PBC, PSC, HCV, CC, and HBV. The proportion of simultaneous liver-kidney transplants increased from approximately 3% in 2001 to 10% in 2009. Compared with PBC, 5-year graft and patient survival were (a) similar for PSC, NASH, and HBV (80-85%), (b) poorer for AC and CC (hazard ratio, 1-1.5), and (c) worst for HCV, HCV+ alcohol, and HCC (hazard ratio, 1.5-2.4). Five-year outcomes for HCV-associated HCC were poorer compared with HCC due to other etiologies. Conclusions. LT performed for NASH and HCC are increasing. Potent treatment options resulted in a decrease in number of transplants for HBV, HCV, and PBC. Better treatment modalities for HCV are expected to further reduce the number of LT for HCV. Excellent posttransplantation outcomes for NASH and AC are encouraging, resulting in wider acceptance of transplants for these etiologies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)755-760
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 15 2013


  • Graft survival
  • Mortality
  • Orthotropic liver transplantation
  • UNOS

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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