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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 30

of 'Liver transplantation in adults: Overview of immunosuppression'

Changing perspectives on liver transplantation in 1988.
Gordon RD, Starzl TE
Clin Transpl. 1988;
After liver transplantation for cancer, there is a high incidence of disease recurrence within 18 to 36 months for most tumors, although there are a small number of long-term survivors. An extended resection of the upper abdominal viscera with replacement by a liver-pancreas cluster is being tried in Pittsburgh for lesions which have not been successfully managed with liver transplantation alone. Despite a high incidence of graft reinfection after liver transplantation for hepatitis B virus (HBV) related disease, a significant proportion of patients achieve long-term survival. Hyperimmune globulin and interferon have been of little benefit in preventing reinfection. Clinical trials with a human monoclonal antibody to HBsAg are in progress. Transplantation for alcoholic liver disease has been considered controversial. However, survival after liver transplantation for Laennec's cirrhosis is comparable to survival after liver transplantation for other chronic, benign, and non-HBV related liver diseases. Sclerotherapy followed by liver transplantation is the treatment of choice for patients with acute hemorrhage from esophageal varices and end-stage liver disease. Sclerotherapy alone or followed by selective shunting is an appropriate alternative in patients with good hepatic reserve. Only 25% of infants with biliary atresia benefit from portoenterostomy. To meet the demand for small infants waiting for transplantation, several transplant programs have successfully expanded their efforts to use partial (reduced) liver grafts. Cyclosporine and low-dose prednisone remain the basis for immunosuppression after liver transplantation. However, nephrotoxicity and hypertension are frequent and troublesome side effects of cyclosporine. Triple and quadruple drug regimens have been increasingly popular in an effort to minimize cyclosporine toxicity. Phase 1 clinical trials with a new drug, FK506, recently began in Pittsburgh. Hyperacute rejection of the liver has been demonstrated in animal models and has been strongly suspected in recent clinical descriptions of acute hemorrhagic necrosis after liver transplantation. So far, only transplantation across an ABO incompatibility has been identified as a risk factor for hyperacute rejection. The new preservation solution developed by Belzer and associates at the University of Wisconsin has significantly extended the preservation time for liver grafts, and improved the quality of liver preservation.
Department of Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, PA.