The incidence and significance of late acute cellular rejection (>1000 days) after liver transplantation1


  • 1

    Portions of this material were presented to the American Society of Transplantation, 30 April 2002, Washington, DC, USA.

Sander Florman, Tulane Center for Abdominal Transplantation, 1415 Tulane Avenue TW 35, New Orleans, LA 70112, USA.


Abstract:  Acute cellular rejection (ACR) after liver transplantation occurs in as much as 70% of patients within the first year. There is very little known about ACR that occurs more than 1 yr after transplant, and it is generally believed that late occurring ACR may be more resistant to medical treatment and is associated with a higher rate of chronic ductopenic rejection and graft loss. A total of 532 recipients with more than 1000 d follow-up and who did not have hepatitis C were identified. Forty-three (8.1%) had biopsy proven late ACR at a mean of 1545 ± 441 d post-transplant. Additionally, 38 of the 43 (88.4%) patients with late ACR had earlier episodes of ACR before 1000 d post-transplant vs. only 295 of the 488 patients (60.5%) that did not have late ACR (p < 0.01). The incidence of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) was 32.6% among patients with late ACR and 11.1% among patients without late ACR (p < 0.01). The overall patient survival for patients who had late ACR (n = 43) is 81.4% while for patients without late ACR (n = 488) it is 82.0% (p = ns). Patients remain at risk for ACR even after 1000 d post-transplant, particularly those with PSC.