Two hundred patients with liver disease were re-studied after six to eight years. The initial routine diagnosis (mainly based on morphological criteria) was confirmed in almost 80% of cases of chronic liver disease. In chronic active hepatitis, agreement was found in 86%. An alternative classification based on cluster analysis of clinical chemical results from the first admission was also to a great extent confirmed by the follow-up study. Discriminant analysis of clinical chemical data correctly allocated 94% of patients with alcoholic cirrhosis (who had low haptoglobin and albumin) into groups with different prognosis. Clinical chemical results differed between verified and non-verified cases of primary biliary cirrhosis. By retrospective examination , we found that 15 of 16 patients with this disease or chronic active hepatitis who were initially misclassified by biopsy findings could be correctly diagnosed by discriminant analysis of clinical chemical results.
In a prospective study of 16,756 consecutive blood donors, we found 54 donors (0.3%) to be anti-hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive by a first-generation enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. After retesting, 18 donors were confirmed positive or indeterminate by a second-generation recombinant immunoblot assay. Sixteen of these donors were found positive by a second-generation enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and 15 of these were positive by HCV polymerase chain reaction with two primer sets. Nine donors (50%) had a history of drug abuse. In 15 donors found positive by a second-generation enzyme-linked immunoblot assay liver biopsy specimens were taken after at least 6 months' follow-up. In all except one hepatitis C RNA-negative donor, histologic abnormalities were observed, even when alanine aminotransferase (ALAT) levels were continuously normal or only moderately elevated. The abnormalities were less pronounced in these donors (n = 5) than in donors with ALAT levels increased more than twice the upper normal limit (p
A liver transplant program was established in Norway in 1984, and until March 1999 200 liver transplantations have been carried out. Data for these 200 consecutive patients are briefly outlined with emphasis on survival. Relevant data are also given from the Nordic Liver Transplant Registry (NLTR), the European Liver Transplant Registry (ELTR) and from United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS). Future trends and potential advances in liver transplantation are briefly discussed. One-year and three-year survival rates for Norwegian patients have increased markedly over the years and were 85% and 75% respectively for the 1995-98 period. The number of liver transplantations per million population per year was 3.4 in Norway, 7.8 in Sweden, 5.7 in Finland and 5.4 in Denmark (1990-98). The low number of liver transplantations in Norway warrants attention. It is possible that some patients with end stage liver disease have not been offered this treatment modality. Monitoring of results and active participation in international liver transplant registries like NLTR and ELTR is an important quality control instrument.
A total of 114 liver transplantations were performed in 106 patients in Norway during 1984-1994. Survival after one year was 65% and after three years 57%. The most frequent causes of death were infections and rejections. The survival rate improved considerably during the period, and after 1990 the 1 year survival was 70%. Approximately 2/3 of the patients return to work or education. Very few patients die later than 12 months after the transplantation. The most frequent indications were primary biliary cirrhosis, metabolic liver disease, primary sclerosing cholangitis, autoimmune cirrhosis and fulminant liver failure. The number of liver transplantations (approximately 4 per million inhabitants) is lower in Norway than in the other Nordic countries. The number should be increased to 7-8 per million inhabitants.
Liver transplantation was previously only offered to patients under 60 years of age. We have analyzed the outcome after acceptance on the waiting list and after liver transplantation of patients over 60 years old. A total of 150 patients over 60 years old were listed for a first liver transplantation during 1990-1998. The annual number increased throughout the period. Primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and acute hepatic failure were the most frequent diagnoses. A total of 119 patients received a first liver allograft. The patient 1-year survival was 75% and 3-year survival 62%, which was not significantly lower (P = 0.21) than that of the younger patients. When correcting for year of transplantation, the survival was, however, moderately but significantly lower than among the younger patients. Survival among those > 65 years (n = 38) did not differ from that of patients 60-65 years of age (n = 81). We conclude that an increasing number of patients over 60 years old can be listed for liver transplantation and receive a liver allograft with highly satisfying results.
BACKGROUND: Liver transplantation has become an established therapeutic option for patients with life-threatening liver disease. The aim of the present study was to analyse the results of and developments in liver transplantation in the Nordic countries during a 15-year period. METHODS: Data on all patients receiving a liver allograft in the Nordic countries during 1982-98 and waiting list data for all patients listed for a liver transplantation after 1989 were obtained from the Nordic Liver Transplantation Registry. RESULTS: A total of 1485 first liver transplantations were performed during 1982-98. The annual number of first liver transplantations increased steadily up to 1993, thereafter remaining around 150-170 per year. There are major differences between countries both in the number of transplants adjusted to populations performed per year, with more than twice as many performed in Sweden as in Norway, and in the relative distribution of patients in accordance with diagnosis. The number of patients more than 60 years old increased and comprised 13%-14% of the total patient population during 1996-98. Primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, acute hepatic failure, malignant liver disease, and alcoholic cirrhosis are the five most frequent diagnoses. The over-all 1-year patient survival probability has increased from 66% among patients receiving a transplant in 1982-89 to 83% in 1995-1998. The waiting time remains stable, with a median waiting time of 35 days during 1990-98. The mortality of patients while on the waiting list is 7.4% and is not increasing. CONCLUSION: Results of liver transplantation in the Nordic countries are very similar to those obtained in other countries. Waiting time and mortality remain low. There are, however, major differences between the countries both as to the number of transplantations performed and as to distribution of diagnoses.
Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is the most common indication for liver transplantation in the Nordic countries. Because these patients are difficult to evaluate with regard to timing of liver transplantation, it is important to establish predictors of post-transplant survival.
Data from two groups of patients receiving liver allografts during 1982-2001 were recorded: (a) PSC patients and (b) comparison patients. Outcome following transplantation has been recorded for all patients. Regression analyses have been performed for PSC patients to analyse predictors of patient and graft survival.
A total of 245 PSC and 618 comparison patients received a first liver allograft in the period 1982 until the end of the study. The overall 1-, 3- and 5-year patient survival rates were 82%, 77% and 75%, and 80%, 77% and 74% in the PSC group and comparison group, respectively. Survival following transplantation has increased with time in both the PSC and the comparison group. Recent year of transplantation, no previous hepatobiliary surgery and a lower MELD score were predictors of survival following transplantation for PSC patients. PSC patients had a higher rate of re-transplantations (13% versus 8%, P = 0.01). Predictors of re-transplantation in PSC patients were an episode of early rejection and vascular thrombosis.
In PSC patients, year of transplantation, previous hepatobiliary surgery and MELD score are predictors of survival following transplantation and these patients are more frequently in need of re-transplantation compared to the comparison group.
BACKGROUND: Patients with cholestatic liver function tests and histological features of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) but a normal cholangiogram are considered to have small duct PSC. The natural history of this condition is unknown. METHODS: Thirty three patients with small duct PSC were identified among patients admitted for diagnostic workup of cholestatic liver function tests in one centre in the UK (Oxford) and one centre in Norway (Oslo). A total of 260 patients with large duct PSC were compared, and prognosis in terms of death, cholangiocarcinoma, biochemical features, histological features, and symptoms analysed. RESULTS: Mean age at diagnosis was 38 years and 39 years in small duct and large duct PSC, respectively. Mean follow up was 106 months in small duct and 105 months in large duct patients. Four patients originally considered to have small duct developed large duct PSC. Two of these underwent liver transplantation during follow up. Of the remainder who did not develop large duct PSC, two patients died during follow up: one of liver failure and the other of cardiac death unrelated to her liver disease. A total of 122 (47%) large duct patients either required liver transplantation (34 patients) or died (88 patients). Small duct patients had a significantly better survival compared with large duct patients. Among small duct patients, none developed cholangiocarcinoma compared with 28 of 260 (11%) large duct patients. CONCLUSIONS: Patients with small duct PSC seem to have a good prognosis in terms of survival and development of cholangiocarcinoma. Small duct PSC progresses to large duct PSC in a small proportion of patients.