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Abstract

Between February 26, 1981, and July 30, 1987, 36 patients underwent orthotopic liver transplantation for primary sclerosing cholangitis associated with ulcerative colitis. Three of the 36 recipients died within 3 mo because of graft nonfunction or surgical complications. The other 33 (92%) lived for at least 1 yr. Two of the 33 died after 12 and 14 mo, respectively, of recurrent cholangiocarcinoma that was not diagnosed before transplantation. Four other patients died of recurrent liver failure (three cases) or immunoblastic sarcoma (one case) after 14, 21, 36 and 44 mo. Twenty-seven (75%) of the patients are still alive 23 to 81 mo after transplantation. Two patients have been diagnosed as having colorectal cancer 11 and 21 mo respectively, after transplantation, for an overall incidence of 5.6% (2 of 36) and a corrected incidence of 6.5% (2 of 31) if the three early deaths and two later deaths caused by cholangiocarcinomas are excluded. It is not known whether colorectal malignancies were present but undetected at the time of transplantation or whether they developed afterward. It is clear that patients who undergo liver transplantation for primary sclerosing cholangitis associated with ulcerative colitis should have careful follow-up of the colon, including colonoscopy and multiple biopsies of the colorectal mucosa. Whether proctocolectomy should be considered prophylactically after liver transplantation is an unresolved issue.(HEPATOLOGY 1990;11:477–480.)