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The use of liver transplantation (LT) as a treatment for alcoholic liver disease (ALD) has been highly controversial since the beginning. The ever increasing shortage of organs has accentuated the low priority given to patients suffering from ALD, which is considered a "self-inflicted" condition. However, by improving the long-term survival rates, making them similar to those from other indications, and recognizing that alcoholism is a primary disease, ALD has become one of the most common indications for LT in Europe and North America, a situation thought unfathomable thirty years ago. Unfortunately, there are still many issues with the use of this procedure for ALD. There are significant relapse rates, and the consequences of excessive drinking after LT range from asymptomatic biochemical and histological abnormalities to graft failure and death. A minimum three-month period of sobriety is required for an improvement in liver function, thus making LT unnecessary, and to demonstrate the patient's commitment to the project, even though a longer abstinence period does not guarantee lower relapse rates after LT. Recent data have shown that LT is also effective for severe alcoholic hepatitis when the patient is unresponsive to corticosteroids therapy, with low relapse rates in highly selected patients, although these results must be confirmed before LT becomes a standard procedure in this setting. Finally, LT for ALD is accompanied by an increased risk of de novo solid organ cancer, skin cancer, and lymphoproliferative disorders, which has a large impact on the survival rates.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: World journal of gastroenterology
In the United States, alcoholic liver disease (ALD) has recently become the leading indication for liver transplantation (LT).
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Liver diseases associated with ALCOHOLISM. It usually refers to the coexistence of two or more subentities, i.e., ALCOHOLIC FATTY LIVER; ALCOHOLIC HEPATITIS; and ALCOHOLIC CIRRHOSIS.
Final stage of a liver disease when the liver failure is irreversible and LIVER TRANSPLANTATION is needed.
Fatty liver finding without excessive ALCOHOL CONSUMPTION.
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