• alcohol consumption;
  • alcohol dependence;
  • alcoholic cirrhosis;
  • liver transplantation;
  • relapse


Predictive factors for alcoholic relapse after liver transplantation (LT) performed for alcoholic liver disease (ALD) have been assessed in numerous studies, often with contradictory results. The aim of the study was to assess pretransplantation alcohol consumption characteristics on alcoholic relapse after LT. Patients transplanted for ALD for at least 6 months were included. An anonymous questionnaire assessed socio-demographic characteristics, medical history, and alcohol consumption before and after LT. Relapse was defined as any alcohol use after LT. Severe relapse was defined by heavy drinking: more than 21 units/week for males and 14 units/week for females. A total of 61 patients were studied. The mean follow up after LT was 49 ± 34 months. Alcoholic relapse occurred in 32 of 61 patients (52%) and severe relapse in eight of 61 patients (13%). Risk factors for severe relapse were: length of abstinence before LT (P = 0.0001), more than one alcohol withdrawal before LT (P = 0.001), alcohol dependence (P = 0.05), alcohol abuse in first relatives (P = 0.05), and younger age (P = 0.05). Information on previous alcohol consumption (dependence, number of withdrawals, family history) helps to predict severe relapse after LT in patients with ALD, allowing early awareness and specific postoperative care.