Liver transplantation in patients with alcoholic liver disease: A retrospective study

G.A. Vassallo, C. Tarli, M.M. Rando, C. Mosoni, A. Mirijello, A. Agyei-Nkansah, M. Antonelli, L. Sestito, G. Perotti, D. Di Giuda, S. Agnes, A. Grieco, A. Gasbarrini, G. Addolorato, V. Abbate, M.E. Ainora, E. Annicchiarico, A.W. Avolio, M. Biolato, R. CaliaN. de Matthaeis, Cristina d'Angelo, D. Ferrarese, A. Ferrulli, M. Garcovich, F. Frongillo, G. Marrone, L. Miele, E. Nure, P. Pietrogiacomi, F. Pizzolante, M. Pompili, F.R. Ponziani, G.L. Rapaccini, L. Riccardi, E. Rinninella, G. Sganga, M. Siciliano, M.A. Zocco

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Aim: Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is the most common liver disease in the Western World. Liver transplantation (LT) is the treatment for end-stage ALD. However, many transplant centers are still reluctant to transplant these patients because of the risk of alcohol relapse, recurrence of the primary liver disease and associated post-transplant complications. We examined survival rate, prevalence of primary liver disease recurrence, re-transplantation and post-transplant complications among transplanted patients for alcoholic cirrhosis compared with those transplanted for viral cirrhosis. Methods: data about patients transplanted for alcoholic and viral cirrhosis at the Gemelli Hospital from January 1995 to April 2016 were retrospectively collected. Survival rate was evaluated according to the Kaplan-Meier method. Recurrence was defined as histological evidence of primary liver disease. Data on the onset of complication, causes of death and graft failure after liver transplant were analyzed. Results: There was no statistically significant difference regarding survival rate between the two groups. Only patients transplanted for viral cirrhosis presented with primary liver disease recurrence. There was a higher rate of cancer development in patients transplanted for alcoholic cirrhosis. Cancer was the major cause of death in this population. Risk factors associated with the onset of cancer were a high MELD score at the transplant time and smoking after transplantation. Conclusion: ALD is a good indication for LT. Patients transplanted for alcoholic cirrhosis should receive regular cancer screening and should be advised against smoking. Short Summary: No difference was found between patients transplanted for alcoholic cirrhosis and viral cirrhosis in term of survival rate. Only patients transplanted for viral cirrhosis presented primary liver disease recurrence. A higher rate of cancer development was found in patients transplanted for alcoholic cirrohosis. This complication was associated with post-trasplant smoking. © The Author 2017. Medical Council on Alcohol and Oxford University Press. All rights reserved.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-156
Number of pages6
JournalAlcohol and Alcoholism
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018


  • acute graft rejection
  • adult
  • alcohol liver cirrhosis
  • alcohol liver disease
  • artery occlusion
  • artery thrombosis
  • Article
  • cardiovascular disease
  • cause of death
  • cerebrovascular disease
  • comparative study
  • diabetes mellitus
  • digestive system disease assessment
  • female
  • graft failure
  • graft recipient
  • hematologic disease
  • hepatic artery
  • histopathology
  • human
  • infection
  • kidney disease
  • liver transplantation
  • lymphoproliferative disease
  • major clinical study
  • male
  • malignant neoplasm
  • mental disease
  • middle aged
  • portal vein thrombosis
  • postoperative period
  • prevalence
  • priority journal
  • recurrent disease
  • reoperation
  • retrospective study
  • risk factor
  • smoking
  • smoking habit
  • solid malignant neoplasm
  • survival rate
  • tobacco
  • virus infection
  • aged
  • alcohol abstinence
  • follow up
  • graft survival
  • Kaplan Meier method
  • liver cirrhosis
  • liver tumor
  • mortality
  • postoperative complication
  • procedures
  • statistics and numerical data
  • survival analysis
  • virology, Adult
  • Aged
  • Alcohol Abstinence
  • Cause of Death
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Kaplan-Meier Estimate
  • Liver Cirrhosis
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic
  • Liver Diseases, Alcoholic
  • Liver Neoplasms
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Recurrence
  • Reoperation
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Survival Analysis

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    Vassallo, G. A., Tarli, C., Rando, M. M., Mosoni, C., Mirijello, A., Agyei-Nkansah, A., Antonelli, M., Sestito, L., Perotti, G., Di Giuda, D., Agnes, S., Grieco, A., Gasbarrini, A., Addolorato, G., Abbate, V., Ainora, M. E., Annicchiarico, E., Avolio, A. W., Biolato, M., ... Zocco, M. A. (2018). Liver transplantation in patients with alcoholic liver disease: A retrospective study. Alcohol and Alcoholism, 53(2), 151-156.