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Orthotopic Liver Transplantation for Alcoholic Cirrhosis

Thomas E. Starzl, MD, PhD; David Van Thiel, MD; Andreas G. Tzakis, MD; Shunzaburo watsuki, MD; Satoru Todo, MD; J. Wallis Marsh, MD; Babu Koneru, MD; Sandee Staschak, RN; Andrei Stieber, MD; Robert D. Gordon, MD
JAMA. 1988;260(17):2542-2544. doi:10.1001/jama.1988.03410170090040.
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Fifteen patients with Laennec's cirrhosis underwent orthotopic liver transplantation between 1963 and the end of 1979. The first eight patients died perioperatively or within two months, but four of the next seven patients had long survival; three are still alive after 11 to 14 years. After the introduction of cyclosporine therapy, 41 more patients with alcoholic cirrhosis were treated with liver transplantation from 1980 to June 1987. The one-year survival is 73.2%, and, after one to three years, 28 (68%) of the recipients are living. Of the 35 patients in the combined old and new series who lived for six months or longer, only two returned to alcohol abuse. Social and vocational rehabilitation has been the rule in these recipients who were selected primarily because of urgency of need, because they or their families insisted on treatment, and because they and their families thereby committed themselves to long-standing programs of alcoholism care.

(JAMA 1988;260:2542-2544)

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