TRANSPLANTATION FOR PRIMARY BILIARY-CIRRHOSIS GASTROENTEROLOGY Esquivel, C. O., VANTHIEL, D. H., Demetris, A. J., Bernardos, A., Iwatsuki, S., Markus, B., Gordon, R. D., Marsh, J. W., Makowka, L., Tzakis, A. G., Todo, S., GAVALER, J. S., Starzl, T. E. 1988; 94 (5): 1207-1216


Primary biliary cirrhosis is a frequent indication for liver transplantation. The purpose of this report is to present our experience with liver transplantation for primary biliary cirrhosis. Attention is given to the causes of hepatic dysfunction seen in allografts. In addition, we review the postoperative problems encountered and the quality of life at time of last follow-up in patients with transplants for primary biliary cirrhosis. A total of 97 orthotopic liver transplant procedures were performed in 76 patients with advanced primary biliary cirrhosis at the University of Pittsburgh from March 1980 through September 1985. The transplant operation was relatively easy to perform. The most common technical complications experienced were fragmentation and intramural dissection of the recipient hepatic artery, which required an arterial graft in 20% of the cases. Most of the postoperative mortality occurred in the first 6 mo after transplantation, with an essentially flat actuarial life survival curve from that time point to a projected 5-yr survival of 66%. Common causes of death included rejection and primary graft nonfunction. Thirteen of the 76 patients had some hepatic dysfunction at the time of the last follow-up, although none were jaundiced. Recurrence of primary biliary cirrhosis could not be demonstrated in any of the patients. Antimitochondrial antibody was detected in the serum of almost all of the patients studied postoperatively for it. Most important, almost all of the 52 surviving patients have been rehabilitated socially and vocationally.

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