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Annie Gong, Gerald Y. Minuk
(Section of Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada)
Ann Transplant 2018; 23:129-135
Demonstrated abstinence from alcohol for over six months and successful completion of a formal alcohol addictions program are two commonly employed criteria for determining whether an alcoholic patient with liver failure should proceed to liver transplantation.
In this systematic review of the medical literature, we review the justification for these criteria and consider other variables that have also been reported to be of predictive value.
While abstinence from alcohol for over six months is supported by the medical literature, data are more limited regarding the value of formal alcohol addictions program as selection criteria for proceeding towards liver transplantation. Positive family histories of alcoholism, co-inhabitants drinking alcohol in the presence of the patient and concurrent drug dependencies are more robust predictor variables of post-transplant recidivism.
Based on the findings of this review, we propose a simple A–D transplantation selection criteria wherein “A” refers to demonstrated abstention from alcohol for over six months, “B” biology (a negative family history for alcoholism), “C”, co-inhabitants not consuming alcohol in the presence of the patient; and “D”, no concurrent drug dependency.