Injection drug use before and after liver transplantation: A retrospective multicenter analysis on incidence and outcome

Andrea De Gottardi, Marie Noelle Hilleret, Pascale Gelez, Vincenzo La Mura, Olivier Guillaud, Pietro Majno, Antoine Hadengue, Philippe Morel, Jean Pierre Zarski, Massimiliano Fontana, Darius Moradpour, Gilles Mentha, Olivier Boillot, Vincent Leroy, Emiliano Giostra, Jérôme Dumortier

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and aims: Injecting drug use (IDU) before and after liver transplantation (LT) is poorly described. The aim of this study was to quantify relapse and survival in this population and to describe the causes of mortality after LT. Methods: Past injection drug users were identified from the LT listing protocols from four centers in Switzerland and France. Data on survival and relapse were collected and used for uni- and multivariate analysis. Results: Between 1988 and 2006, we identified 59 patients with a past history of IDU. The mean age at transplantation was 42.4 yr and the majority of patients were men (84.7%). The indication for LT was for the vast majority viral cirrhosis accounting for 91.5% of cases, while alcoholic cirrhosis was 5.1%. There were 16.9% of patients who had a substitution therapy before and 6.8% who continued after LT. Two patients (3.4%) relapsed into IDU after LT and died at 18 and 41 months. The mean follow-up was 51 months. Overall survival was 84%, 66%, and 61% at 1, 5, and 10 yr after transplantation. Conclusions: Documented IDU was rare in liver transplanted patients. Past IDU was not associated with poorer survival after LT, and relapse after LT occurred in 3.4%.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)564-571
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2010


  • Injection drug use
  • Liver transplantation
  • Methadone
  • Outcome
  • Relapse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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