Park CW, Tsai NT, Wong LL. Implications of worse renal dysfunction and medical comorbidities in patients with NASH undergoing liver transplant evaluation: impact on MELD and more.
Clin Transplant 2011: 25: E606–E611. © 2011 John Wiley & Sons A/S.
Abstract: Increasing numbers of patients with non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are referred for liver transplant (LT). Our objective was to characterize patients with NASH among referred LT candidates (from 1998 to 2008), and we compared demographics, etiology of liver disease, diabetes, hypertension, smoking, obesity, cardiac disease, cancer, laboratory data, model for end-stage liver disease (MELD), and outcomes between NASH and non-NASH patients. Patients with NASH (n = 71) were compared to other chronic liver disease (n = 472). Patients with NASH were older (58.7 vs. 52.5 yr, p < 0.0001), Asian (53.5% vs. 34.7%, p = 0.03) and women (50.7% vs. 32.1%, p = 0.003). Patients with NASH had more diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cardiac disease, and smoking history (p < 0.05). Patients with NASH were equally likely to have liver cancer, but more likely to have non-liver cancers (20.8% vs. 4.4%, p = 0.008). There was no difference in MELD, but patients with NASH had lower protime/international normalized ratio (1.14 vs. 1.27, p = 0.04) and higher creatinine (1.26 vs. 0.98 mg/dL, p = 0.0018). Patients with NASH were equally likely to undergo evaluation, listing, and transplantation compared to non-NASH patients. While all patients with chronic liver disease can have renal dysfunction because of hepatorenal syndrome, patients with NASH have more renal dysfunction, perhaps related to diabetes, hypertension, and cardiovascular disease. Transplant centers should consider this carefully in selection of candidates for LT.