1a Department of Clinical Science, Intervention and Technology, Division of Transplantation Surgery , Karolinska Institutet , Stockholm , Sweden.
Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is a common and increasing indication for liver transplantation (LT), is known to recur after LT. Since the recurrence of NASH can lead to graft failure, the identification of predictive factors is needed and preventive strategies should be implemented.
We retrospectively examined 95 patients who had undergone LT for NASH or alcoholic liver disease (ALD) as a primary indication. We evaluated peritransplant characteristics and histological findings 1-year post LT among liver transplant patients due to NASH or ALD.
Pre-LT body mass index (BMI) was higher and pre-LT diabetes was more prevalent in NASH patients than in ALD patients (p < .01). The difference of BMI persisted at 3 months and 1 year after LT. There were no differences between the groups regarding histopathological findings including the degree of steatosis and fibrosis in 1-year biopsy. In multivariate analysis, recipient age and 1-year BMI were independent risk factors for post-LT fatty liver disease development. Regarding predictive factors of NASH recurrence, the prevalence of pre-LT insulin-dependent diabetes was significantly higher in patients who developed NASH recurrence than those who did not. The increase of HbA1c at 1-year post-LT checkup was higher in patients who developed recurrence than those who did not, although the difference did not reach statistical significance.
The results of this study suggest that insulin-dependent diabetes has detrimental effects on NASHrecurrence following LT. Optimal glycemic control should be recommended, but studies are needed to prove its preventive effect on NASH recurrence.