A  A  A   Print
Alcoholism Treatment Can Help Some Liver Transplant Patients

Alcoholism Treatment Can Help Some Liver Transplant Patients

WEDNESDAY, Oct. 9 (HealthDay News) -- Liver transplant recipients with a history of alcoholism are much less likely to start drinking again if they undergo substance-abuse treatment before and after their transplant, new research finds.

And a second study shows that continued alcohol abuse after a liver transplant raises the risk of transplant failure. Both studies were published in the October issue of the journal Liver Transplantation.

Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is the second most common reason for liver transplants in the United States and Europe, but research suggests that anywhere from 10 percent to 90 percent of ALD patients who get a new liver start drinking again after their transplant.

In the first study, researchers found that 16 percent of liver transplant patients with a history of alcoholism started drinking again if they received substance-abuse treatment before and after the transplant.

The relapse rates were 41 percent for those who received substance-abuse treatment before their transplant and 45 percent for those who received no substance-abuse treatment, according to James Rodrigue, of The Transplant Institute at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, and colleagues.

"While many transplant centers require candidates with a history of alcohol abuse to attend substance-abuse treatment prior to transplantation, our findings emphasize the importance of continued therapy after the transplant to prevent alcohol relapse," Rodrigue said in a journal news release.

The second study found that patients with alcoholic liver disease who resumed excessive drinking after a liver transplant were more likely to experience liver scarring and transplant failure.

"Our study highlights the need for ongoing assessments of alcohol use as part of post-transplant care. Given the shortage of available donor livers, maintaining sobriety is critical to maximizing organ use and patient outcomes following transplantation," lead investigator Dr. John Rice, from the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, said in the news release.

More information

The U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases has more about liver transplantation.

SOURCE: October 2013, Liver Transplantation

 

The third-party content provided in the Health Library of phoebeputney.com is for informational purposes only and is not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease, or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your physician. If you or your child has or suspect you may have a health problem, please consult your primary care physician. If you or your child may have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 or other emergency health care provider immediately in the United States or the appropriate health agency of your country. For more information regarding site usage, please visit: Privacy Information, Terms of Use or Disclaimer.

Follow us online:

© 2014 Phoebe Putney Health System  |  417 Third Avenue, Albany, Georgia 31701  |  Telephone 877.312.1167

Phoebe Putney Health System is a network of hospitals, family medicine clinics, rehab facilities, auxiliary services, and medical education training facilities. Founded in 1911,
Phoebe Putney Memorial Hospital (the flagship hospital) is one of Georgia's largest comprehensive regional medical centers. From the beginning, Phoebe's mission and vision
has been to bring the finest medical talent and technology to the citizens of Southwest Georgia, and to serve all citizens of the community regardless of ability to pay.