Liver disease recurrence after liver transplantation

Rakela B. Jorge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Liver transplantation has become a standard option in the management of patients with end-stage liver disease. It is now evident that the most common etiology of long-term graft dysfunction is the recurrence of the primary liver disease. Autoimmune liver disorders such as autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, and primary sclerosing cholangitis recur between 15 to 30% of the graft recipients. The clinical expression of this recurrence tends to be milder; the diagnosis is only established in many patients by findings in the liver biopsy. This milder clinical expression may be due to the use of immunosuppressive therapy for the prevention of organ rejection and it may also be modulating immune mechanisms that underlie these conditions. The recurrence of hepatitis C virus infection is characterized by an accelerated progression towards cirrhosis and hepatic failure due to the lack of an effective immunoprophylaxis program and an effective antiviral therapy. The recurrence of hepatitis B is uncommon due to the availability on an effective immunoprophylaxis program with effective antiviral agents. The familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy is a genetic condition residing in the hepatocyte that produces a mutation of transthyretin; this abnormal protein is deposited in peripheral nerves, gastrointestinal tract, heart, and kidneys. The liver from these patients, apart from producing this abnormal protein, is otherwise normal, and has been used as an organ for recipients in dire need of a liver transplant, such as patients with hepatocellular carcinoma. This approach is known as "domino" liver transplantation. As these recipients are followed long term, they may develop de novo amyloidosis. In summary, the underlying liver condition that led to end-stage liver disease and liver transplantation may recur after liver transplantation. The clinical expression of the recurrence of the hepatic disease is modulated by the immunosuppression program unless we have an effective immunoprophylaxis and antiviral agents such as in hepatitis B.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)504-510
Number of pages7
JournalRevista medica de Chile
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2010


  • Biliary
  • Liver cirrhosis
  • Liver transplantation
  • Recurrence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine


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