What is the Prognosis After Retransplantation of the Liver?
Division of Liver and Pancreas Transplantation, Department of Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles, 650 C. E. Young Drive South, 77-120 CHS, Box 957054, Los Angeles, CA 90095, USA.Advances in Surgery 09/2012; 46(1):87-100. DOI: 10.1016/j.yasu.2012.03.005
In patients with failing liver grafts, hepatic retransplantation cannot be abandoned for the ethical and practical reasons that have been detailed previously. The current recommendations involve a strategy for risk stratification of retransplant candidates. The long-term patient and graft survival outcomes after ReLT are excellent and acceptable for the low and intermediate groups, respectively. However, pursuing ReLT in transplant candidates in the high-risk category cannot be recommended. Furthermore, ReLT should be reserved for centers equipped to manage the difficulties of the endeavor because it is a technically demanding operation that requires surgical expertise and excellent anesthesiology and critical care support both before and after transplantation.
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ABSTRACT: The first human liver transplant operation was performed by Thomas Starzl in 1963. The next two decades were marked by difficulties with donor organ quality, recipient selection, operative and perioperative management, immunosuppression and infectious complications. Advances in each of these areas transformed liver transplantation from an experimental procedure to a standard treatment for end-stage liver disease and certain cancers. From the handful of pioneering programmes, liver transplantation has expanded to hundreds of programmes in >80 countries. 1-year patient survival rates have exceeded 80% and outcomes continue to improve. This success has created obstacles. Ongoing challenges of liver transplantation include those concerning donor organ shortages, recipients with more advanced disease at transplant, growing need for retransplantation, toxicities and adverse effects associated with long-term immunosuppression, obesity and NASH epidemics, HCV recurrence and the still inscrutable biology of hepatocellular carcinoma. This Perspectives summarizes this transformation over time and details some of the challenges ahead.
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