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Increasing prevalence of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis as an indication for liver transplantation

      Background

      In Ohio, the obesity rate has increased from 21.5% in 2000 to 30.1% in 2012. Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis is believed to be increasing as an indication for orthotopic liver transplantation.

      Methods

      We evaluated the diagnosis of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis as an indication for orthotopic liver transplantation and ensuing outcomes relative to other common hepatic diseases requiring orthotopic liver transplantation in Ohio. We queried 2,356 patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, alcoholic cirrhosis (ETOH), and hepatitis C cirrhosis from the Ohio Solid Organ Transplantation Consortium who were listed for and/or received an orthotopic liver transplant from 2000 to 2012.

      Results

      The proportion of listed patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis increased from 0% to 26% and the proportion of transplanted patients increased from 0% to 23.4%. Compared with patients with hepatitis C and ETOH, patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis were older, and more likely to be white, and have private insurance (P < .05 for each). There was no difference in median waiting time among patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, hepatitis C, and ETOH (P = .18) and Model for End-Stage Liver Disease scores at orthotopic liver transplantation among patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, hepatitis C (P = .48), and ETOH (P = .27). Patient and graft survival after orthotopic liver transplantation was comparable between patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and ETOH (P = .79 and P = .86, respectively); however, patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis had better patient and graft survival compared with patients with hepatitis C after orthotopic liver transplantation (P < .01 and P = .02, respectively). Additionally, body mass index had no influence on overall or graft survival for patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation.

      Conclusion

      This study reflects the growing potential for transplantation in patients with fatty liver disease and suggests the outcomes are equivalent or superior to other common indications for orthotopic liver transplantation.
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