Allograft steatohepatitis in progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis type 1 after living donor liver transplantation

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Abstract

We studied histological features and long-term outcomes in patients with progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis type 1 (PFIC1) after liver transplantation (LT). Histological findings were correlated with the post-LT course and treatment in 11 recipients with PFIC1. Ages at LT varied from 1 to 18 years (median, 4 years). Macrovesicular steatosis was observed in 8 patients at a median of 60 days post-LT (range, 21-191 days). Severe steatosis progressed to steatohepatitis in 7 patients at a median of 161 days (range, 116-932 days). The patients were followed up for a median of 7.3 years (range, 2.3-16.1 years). Six showed bridging fibrosis, with 2 progressing to cirrhosis. One patient with cirrhosis died because of the rupture of a splenic artery aneurysm 13.6 years post-LT. Post-LT refractory diarrhea was present in all 8 having steatosis. Three without post-LT diarrhea showed no allograft steatosis. Bile adsorptive resin therapy reduced the diarrhea and steatosis. Patients with posttransplant steatosis typically had more severe mutations of the ATPase class I type 8B member 1 (ATP8B1) gene and were more likely to have systemic complications such as pancreatitis. In conclusion, allograft steatosis was present in patients with PFIC1, progressing to steatohepatitis and cirrhosis. Because expression of the familial intrahepatic cholestasis 1 gene occurs in several organs, including the small intestine, pancreas, and liver, and it is involved in enterohepatic bile acid circulation, post-LT steatosis may be due to a malfunction of the ATP8B1 product. Liver Transpl 15:610–618, 2009. © 2009 AASLD.

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