Primary biliary cirrhosis has high wait-list mortality among patients listed for liver transplantation

Ashwani K. Singal, Xiao Fang, Mohamed Kaif, Mohsen Hasanin, Brendan M. Mcguire, Yong Fang Kuo, Russell H. Wiesner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Scopus citations


Patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) have frequent episodes of cholangitis with potential for high mortality while waiting for liver transplantation. However, data on wait-list mortality specific to liver disease etiology are limited. Using United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database (2002-2013), of 81 592 listed patients, 11 284 (13.8%) died while waiting for transplant. Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) patients (N = 3491) compared to PSC (N = 4905) differed with age (56 vs. 47 years), female gender (88% vs. 33%), black race (6% vs. 13%), and BMI (25 vs. 27), P < 0.0001 for all. A total of 993 (11.8%) patients died while waiting for the transplant list. Using competing risk analysis controlling for baseline recipient factors and accounting for receipt of liver transplantation (LT), PBC compared to patients with PSC had higher overall and 3-month wait-list mortality (21.6% vs. 12.7% and 5.0% vs. 2.9%, respectively, Gray's test P < 0.001), [1.25 (1.07-1.47)]. Repeat analysis including all etiologies showed higher wait-list mortality for PBC compared to most etiologies, except for patients listed for diagnosis of alcoholic liver disease (ALD) + hepatitis C virus (HCV). Patients with PBC have high mortality while waiting for liver transplantation. These novel findings suggest that patients with PBC listed for LT may be considered for model for end-stage disease (MELD) exception points.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalTransplant International
StateAccepted/In press - 2016



  • Cirrhosis
  • Transplantation
  • Wait-list mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation

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