Outcome After Liver Transplantation for NASH Cirrhosis


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* Corresponding author: Jawad Ahmad, ahmadj@msx.upmc.edu


Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) associated cirrhosis is an increasing indication for liver transplant (LT). The aim of this study was to determine outcome and poor predictive factors after LT for NASH cirrhosis. We analyzed patients undergoing LT from 1997 to 2008 at a single center. NASH was diagnosed on histopathology. LT recipients with hepatitis C, alcoholic or cholestatic liver disease and cryptogenic cirrhosis acted as matched controls.

Ninety-eight LT recipients were identified with NASH cirrhosis. Compared to controls, NASH patients had a higher BMI (mean 32.3 kg/m2), and were more likely to be diabetic and hypertensive. Mortality after transplant was similar between NASH patients and controls but there was a tendency for higher earlier mortality in NASH patients (30-day mortality 6.1%, 1-year mortality 21.4%). Sepsis accounted for half of all deaths in NASH patients, significantly higher than controls. NASH patients ≥60 years, BMI ≥30 kg/m2 with diabetes and hypertension (HTN) had a 50% 1-year mortality.

In conclusion, patients undergoing LT for NASH cirrhosis have a similar outcome to patients undergoing LT for other indications. The combination of older age, higher BMI, diabetes and HTN are associated with poor outcome after LT. Careful consideration is warranted before offering LT to these high-risk patients.