Alcohol relapse after liver transplantation for alcoholic cirrhosis-impact on liver graft and patient survival: A meta-analysis

Academic Article


  • © The Author 2017. Medical Council on Alcohol and Oxford University Press. All rights reserved. Aim: We performed meta-analysis to determine effect of alcohol relapse after liver transplantation (LT) for alcoholic cirrhosis on graft histology and survival. Methods: Studies were selected using following criteria: (a) LT for alcoholic cirrhosis, (b) reporting data on liver histology and/or patient survival among relapsers and abstainers, (c) minimum follow-up of 3 years. Random effects model was used to pool data to compare relapsers and abstainers on liver histology and patient survival. Results: On analysis of seven studies, pooled prevalence of self-reported alcohol relapse was 26.3% (18.0-36.7%) over median (range) follow-up of 6.0 (3.7-8.3) years, with annual alcohol relapse rate of 4.7% (3.0-6.4%) for any alcohol use and 2.9% (0.5-5.3%) for heavy alcohol use. Relapsers compared to abstainers had higher odds for graft steatosis [4.1 (2.4-6.9)], steatohepatitis [4.5 (1.4-14.2)], alcoholic hepatitis [9.3 (1.01-85)], advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis [8.4 (3.5-20)]. Relapsers were over 3-fold more likely to die at 10 years of follow-up: [3.67 (1.42-9.50)] without differences in overall or 5-year survival. Recurrent alcoholic cirrhosis occurring in 9% of biopsied patients and 2% of all transplants was responsible for about 20% of all deaths on follow-up after LT. Extra-hepatic malignancy, and cardiovascular events were common causes for patient mortality. Conclusion: Alcohol relapse after LT for alcoholic cirrhosis negatively impacts the graft and longterm patient survival. Studies are needed to develop strategies to reduce alcohol relapse after LT for alcoholic cirrhosis. Short Summary: Alcohol relapse in liver transplant recipients can negatively affect graft histology and patient survival. Strategies to reduce alcohol relapse are needed to preserve graft function?.
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    Author List

  • Kodali S; Kaif M; Tariq R; Singal AK
  • Start Page

  • 166
  • End Page

  • 172
  • Volume

  • 53
  • Issue

  • 2