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Keywords:

  • Acute liver failure;
  • Chronic liver disease;
  • Fulminant hepatic failure;
  • Health-related quality of life;
  • Liver transplantation;
  • Paracetamol hepatoxicity

ABSTRACT

Introduction. Liver transplantation is an accepted and successful therapy for both acute and chronic liver diseases (CLDs), with good survival outcomes. Whilst the study of health-related quality of life (HRQoL) post transplantation for CLDs have been well documented, there is little data measuring HRQoL following liver transplantation for acute liver failure (ALF) patients. Patients and methods. Data were collected using between-method triangulation; however, only the quantitative element of the study is reported here. Measuring eight health domains, we distributed the short form 36 (SF-36) questionnaire by post to 96 acute and chronic transplant recipients. Differences between the groups were measured using both parametric and non-parametric t-tests. Results. Overall, the patients showed a satisfactory HRQoL; there were no differences between either acute or chronic transplant groups in seven of the eight domains of quality of life. Among the patients transplanted for ALF, there were no differences in HRQoL between patients transplanted for paracetamol hepatotoxicity compared with other indications, and no variations in HRQoL related to recipient gender, employment or length of survival post transplantation. When compared with the UK SF-36 normal values to the ALF transplant recipients, there was a significantly lower physical functioning and role emotional scores. Conclusion. Regardless of aetiology, most of recipients transplanted for ALF have a HRQoL comparable with chronic transplant recipients.