Long-term medical complications in patients surviving ≥5 years after liver transplant

Patricia A. Sheiner, Joseph F. Magliocca, Carol A. Bodian, Leona Kim-Schluger, Gulum Altaca, James V. Guarrera, Sukru Emre, Thomas M. Fishbein, Stephen R. Guy, Myron E. Schwartz, Charles M. Miller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

239 Scopus citations


Background. Short-term outcomes of liver transplantation are well reported. Little is known, however, about long-term results in liver recipients surviving ≥5 years. We sought to analyze long-term complications in liver recipients surviving ≥5 years after transplant, to assess their medical condition and to compare findings to the general population. Methods. We analyzed the chart and database records of all patients (n=139) who underwent liver transplantation at a major transplant center before January 1, 1991. Outcome measures included the presence of diabetes, hypertension, heart, renal or neurological disease, osteoporosis, incidence of de novo malignancy or fracture, or other pathology, body mass index, serum cholesterol and glucose, liver function, blood pressure, frequency of laboratory and clinic follow-up, current pharmacological regimen, and late rejection episodes. Results. Ninety-six patients (70%) survived ≥5 years. Compared to numbers expected based on U.S. population rates, transplant recipients had significantly higher overall prevalences of hypertension (standardized prevalence ratio [SPR]=3.07, 95% confidence interval [CI], 2.35-3.93) and diabetes (SPR=5.99, 95% CI, 4.15-8.38), and higher incidences of de novo malignancy (standardized incidence ratio [SIR]=3.94, 95% CI, 2.09- 6.73), non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (SIR=28.56, 95% CI, 7.68-73.11), non-melanoma skin cancer (estimated SIR≥3.16) and fractures in women (SIR=2.05, 95% CI, 1.12-3.43). Forty-one of 87 (47.1%) patients were obese, and 23 patients (27.4%) had elevated serum cholesterol levels (≥240 mg/dl, 6.22 mmol/L), compared to 33% and 19.5% of U.S. adults, respectively. Prevalences of heart or peptic ulcer disease were not significantly higher. Conclusions. Liver transplantation is being performed with excellent 5-year survival. Significant comorbidities exist, however, which appear to be related to long- term immunosuppression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)781-789
Number of pages9
Issue number5
StatePublished - Mar 15 2000
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Transplantation


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