Outcomes after liver transplantation for alcoholic hepatitis are similar to alcoholic cirrhosis: Exploratory analysis from the UNOS database

Ashwani K. Singal, Hmoud Bashar, Bhupinderjit S. Anand, Sarat C. Jampana, Vineet Singal, Yong Fang Kuo

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Data on liver transplantation for patients with alcoholic hepatitis are limited. Using the United Network for Organ Sharing database (2004-2010), adults undergoing liver transplantation for a listing diagnosis of alcoholic hepatitis were matched for age, gender, ethnicity, and model for endstage disease (MELD) score, donor risk index, and year of transplantation with three patients transplanted for a listing diagnosis of alcoholic cirrhosis. Study outcomes of graft and patient survival on follow-up were also analyzed for cohorts based on the diagnosis of the explant (46 alcoholic hepatitis and 138 alcoholic cirrhosis) and diagnosis at both listing as well as of the explant (11 alcoholic hepatitis and 33 alcoholic cirrhosis). Five-year graft and patient survival of alcoholic hepatitis and alcoholic cirrhosis patients were 75% and 73% (P = 0.97) and 80% and 78% (P = 0.90), respectively. Five-year graft and patient survival rates were also similar for cohorts based on diagnosis of the explant and diagnosis at listing as well as explant. Cox proportional regression analysis adjusting for other variables showed no impact of the etiology of liver disease (alcoholic hepatitis versus alcoholic cirrhosis) on the graft and patient survival. The causes of graft loss and patient mortality were similar in the two groups, and were not alcohol-related in any patient. Conclusion: Compared with alcoholic cirrhosis, patients with alcoholic hepatitis have similar posttransplantation graft and patient survival. Based on these preliminary findings, liver transplantation may be considered in a select group of patients with alcoholic hepatitis who fail to improve with medical therapy. Prospective studies are needed to assess the long-term outcome after liver transplantation in patients with alcoholic hepatitis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1398-1405
Number of pages8
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2012


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology

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