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New data emerges on liver transplant survival rates
Date:11/24/2009

Researchers at the University of Miami School of Medicine compared the outcomes of cirrhotic patients who underwent liver transplants for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) versus alcoholic liver disease (ETOH) and found no statistically significant differences in post-transplant survival rates between the NASH and ETOH groups. Study findings are presented in the December issue of Liver Transplantation, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health, NASH affects 2%-5% of Americans and ranks as one of the major causes of cirrhosis in the U.S. behind hepatitis C and alcoholic liver disease. Incidences of both NASH and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are increasing, possibly because of the greater number of Americans with obesity. Obesity also contributes to diabetes and high blood cholesterol, which can further complicate the health of someone with NASH. Because it is often a "silent" liver disease, NASH can lead to cirrhosis and permanent damage. Once serious scarring or cirrhosis is present, few treatments can halt the progression. Liver transplantation remains the only treatment for advanced cirrhosis with liver failure and is increasingly performed in people with NASH.

Vishal Bhagat, M.D, and colleagues demonstrated that liver transplant is an appropriate treatment for NASH patients, with survival rates comparable to those for ETOH patients. The team performed a retrospective chart review on all patients who underwent liver transplant for cryptogenic cirrhosis with NASH phenotype and alcoholic cirrhosis at the University of Miami from January 1997 through January 2007.

Cryptogenic cirrhosis was defined by absence of significant alcohol use (>20 gm/day), negative tests for viral hepatitis, negative autoimmune markers such
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Contact: Dawn Peters
medicalnews@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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