• Orthotopic liver transplantation;
  • Alcoholic cirrhosis;
  • Pretransplant screening

Abstract Sufficient assessment of potential candidates for orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) is the most important factor for a low alcohol relapse rate after transplantation in patients suffering from alcoholic cirrhosis. In the current study the efficiency of pretransplant screening with carbohydrate-deficient transferrin (CDT) was analysed in patients on the waiting list for OLT. A prospective study was performed in 44 patients who had undergone OLT for alcoholic cirrhosis. All patients had had pretransplant assessment by a specialist psychologist and were found to have no problems with alcohol. Pre- and post-transplant CDT monitoring was performed. Overall, 790 CDT values were measured in the study population. The median observation period was 2.1 months before and 41.2 months after transplantation, respectively. In 35 patients (80%) pretransplant CDT values were found to be above the reference value, but only one patient suffered an alcohol relapse after transplantation. Of the nine patients (20%) who demonstrated normal CDT before transplantation, two suffered an alcohol relapse after transplantation. CDT is a very useful marker for the monitoring of an alcohol relapse in patients following OLT for alcoholic cirrhosis, as has been previously indicated. However, CDT does not appear to be useful as a pretransplant screening marker for selection of potential transplant candidates suffering from alcoholic cirrhosis.