A variety of specific conditions often stimulate controversy regarding candidacy for liver transplantation. We review the published experience with liver transplantation for alcoholic liver disease, fulminant and chronic hepatitis B, and hepatocellular carcinoma and transplantation in older subjects. Liver transplantation for alcoholic liver disease and in subjects older than 60 years is becoming less controversial because recent data demonstrate that these patients have excellent survival and good quality of life after transplantation. Only 10% to 15% of persons with alcoholism return to drinking after transplantation, and most do so only transiently. Liver transplantation for patients with hepatitis B virus infection or primary liver cancer is more problematic because recurrent disease is common in both conditions. After transplantation for chronic hepatitis B, 80% to 90% of patients have reinfection of the allograft and long-term survival is 45% to 50%. Patients receiving transplants for hepatocellular carcinoma have only 20% to 30% long-term survival, but these survivors are cured of malignancy. Data are presented to support continued liver transplantation for chronic hepatitis B and hepatocellular carcinoma; however, patients must be selected based on factors that predict a favorable outcome, and experimental therapies should be employed to explore ways to improve the existing survival rates.
View details for Web of Science ID A1993MH22400006
View details for PubMedID 8279156