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Liver transplantation for patients with genetic liver conditions has high survival rate
Date:4/5/2013

Chicago (April 5, 2013): Patients faced with the diagnosis of a life-threatening liver disease have to consider the seriousness of having a liver transplant, which can be a definitive cure for many acquired and genetic liver diseases. Among the main considerations are the anxiety of waiting for a donor organ, the risks associated with the transplant operation, and the chance that the transplant procedure will not achieve the desired result. There is also the six-figure cost of the procedure and accompanying patient care, all of which may not be completely covered by health insurance. But, according to a study appearing in the April issue of the Journal of the American College of Surgeons, researchers at the David Geffen School of Medicine, University of CaliforniaLos Angeles (UCLA), found that liver transplants are worth the risk for people who have genetic liver conditions.

The study is a first-of-its-kind, single-institution comparison of outcomes for both pediatric and adult patients undergoing liver transplantation for lethal genetic syndromes. Researchers found that children with genetic disorders that cause fibrosis, cirrhosis, and other liver conditions, which can affect other organs, have a good chance of still being alive five years, even 20 years after a liver transplant operation. Adults with these types of conditions also have high survival rates.

"If we had not transplanted these patients, long term, they would have died," said study lead author, Henrik Petrowsky, MD, who was an attending transplant surgeon and assistant professor of surgery at UCLA during the time the study was conducted.

Patients with genetic liver conditions are different from those who developed liver diseases from a hepatitis C infection or alcoholism. First, this patient population is less common. Dr. Petrowsky estimates that only about nine percent of liver transplants in children and only two percent in adults are performed as a t
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Contact: Sally Garneski
pressinquiry@facs.org
312-202-5409
American College of Surgeons
Source:Eurekalert

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