Systematic review: recurrent autoimmune liver diseases after liver transplantation.

Research paper by A J AJ Montano-Loza, R A RA Bhanji, S S Wasilenko, A L AL Mason

Indexed on: 14 Dec '16Published on: 14 Dec '16Published in: Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics


Autoimmune liver diseases (AILD) constitute the third most common indication for liver transplantation (LT) worldwide. Outcomes post LT are generally good but recurrent disease is frequently observed.To describe the frequency and risk factors associated with recurrent AILD post-LT and provide recommendations to reduce the incidence of recurrence based on levels of evidence.A systematic review was performed for full-text papers published in English-language journals, using the keywords 'autoimmune hepatitis (AIH)', 'primary biliary cholangitis and/or cirrhosis (PBC)', 'primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC)', 'liver transplantation' and 'recurrent disease'. Management strategies to reduce recurrence after LT were classified according to grade and level of evidence.Survival rates post-LT are approximately 90% and 70% at 1 and 5 years and recurrent disease occurs in a range of 10-50% of patients with AILD. Recurrent AIH is associated with elevated liver enzymes and IgG before LT, lymphoplasmacytic infiltrates in the explants and lack of steroids after LT (Grade B). Tacrolimus use is associated with increased risk; use of ciclosporin and preventive ursodeoxycholic acid with reduced risk of PBC recurrence (all Grade B). Intact colon, active ulcerative colitis and early cholestasis are associated with recurrent PSC (Grade B).Recommendations based on grade A level of evidence are lacking. The need for further study and management includes active immunosuppression before liver transplantation and steroid use after liver transplantation in autoimmune hepatitis; selective immunosuppression with ciclosporin and preventive ursodeoxycholic acid treatment for primary biliary cholangitis; and improved control of inflammatory bowel disease or even colectomy in primary sclerosing cholangitis.