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Early Transplants Not Better for Alcoholic Cirrhosis Patients

-- Jane Parry

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

TUESDAY, Feb. 3 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with Child-Pugh stage B alcoholic cirrhosis do not benefit from immediate listing for liver transplantation versus waiting until the disease progresses to stage C before listing for transplantation, according to an article published in the Feb. 3 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Claire Vanlemmens, M.D., of the Centre Hospitalier Universitaire in Besancon, France, and colleagues conducted a study of 120 patients with Child-Pugh stage B alcoholic cirrhosis, of whom 60 were randomized to immediate liver transplantation listing, while the remaining 60 received standard care.

The researchers examined overall and cancer-free survival after five years, during which time 68 percent of the listed group and 25 percent of the standard care group received liver transplants. The five-year survival rate for both groups was 58 percent and 69 percent, respectively, the investigators found. However, there was a big difference in the five-year rate of cancer-free survival, at 63 percent for the immediately listed patients and 94 percent for the standard care patients, the authors note.

"The best strategy would be to consider liver transplantation on the basis of patient outcome and to actively screen patients for extrahepatic cancer before and after liver transplantation," Vanlemmens and colleagues write. "Our results support the current procedure of giving priority for organ allocation to the sickest patients."

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Specialties Cardiology
Diabetes & Endocrinology
Internal Medicine
Family Practice

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