Alcohol use after liver transplantation is independent of liver disease etiology

Academic Article


  • © The Author 2016. Medical Council on Alcohol and Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Aim: To assess alcohol use after liver transplantation (LT) and compare liver transplant recipients for alcoholic liver disease (ALD) with recipients for non-ALD causes.Methods: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases liver transplant database stratified to ALD and non-ALD causes.Results: Among 488 LT recipients reporting pre-transplant alcohol use (147 ALD), proportion of LT recipients reporting alcohol use was similar comparing ALD and non-ALD transplants (25.4% vs. 27.2%; P = 0.56). Among ALD transplants, of 31 with alcohol use, 23 (74%) relapsed at ≥2 year, 25 (80%) reported intermittent drinking and 4 (13%) reported heavy drinking. Among Non-ALD recipients, alcohol use was equally distributed to within 2, 2-5 and after 5 years of LT with 82% reporting intermittent drinking and 9% heavy drinking. Patients with pre-transplant drinking of >20 years and abstinence duration of <2 years were over 2.5-fold likely to report post-transplant alcohol use compared to drinking of >20 years and abstinence of >2 years, 2.56 [95% CI: 1.41-4.67]. Etiology (ALD vs. non-ALD) did not predict post-transplant alcohol use. Of 139 ALD patients with follow-up biopsy data, 13 (7 with post-transplant alcohol use) had steatohepatitis. Histology on 319 non-ALD recipients showed recurrent disease in 91, none due to alcohol. Overall survival was similar between drinkers and abstainers (71% vs. 66%; P = 0.35). Recurrent ALD was cause of death in one ALD and none of non-ALD patients.Conclusion: Alcohol use after LT is independent of LT indication. Patients with non-ALD etiology should be carefully screened for alcohol use prior to LT to identify those at risk for post-LT alcohol use.
  • Authors

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Russ KB; Chen NW; Kamath PS; Shah VH; Kuo YF; Singal AK
  • Start Page

  • 698
  • End Page

  • 701
  • Volume

  • 51
  • Issue

  • 6