Alcohol abuse history influences quality of life following liver transplant

March 09, 2011

A history of alcohol abuse significantly impacts quality of life for patients after liver transplant, according to researchers at Henry Ford Hospital.

"Transplant recipients with alcoholic cirrhosis experienced less improvement in physical quality of life and reported greater pain and physical limitations than non-alcoholics after transplant surgery," says Anne Eshelman, Ph.D., Henry Ford Behavioral Health Services, lead author of the study.

"Understanding alcoholic and nonalcoholic patients' post-transplant change in quality of life may assist in treatment planning. Our results suggest that better interventions to improve pain tolerance, mobilize support, and help patients rebuild their lives after transplantation may improve quality of life in this high-risk population."

Study results were published in the most recent issue of Transplant Proceedings.

A sample of 65 end-stage liver disease patients were surveyed before and after liver transplantation for physical and mental health quality of life using the SF-36 Physical Health Summary and Mental Health Summary. Baseline data was collected prior to transplant and follow-up data was collected at one and six months after transplantation.

Results indicate physical quality of life did not improve significantly between one- and six-month follow-up for patients with alcohol abuse history.

By contrast, mental health quality improved significantly between baseline and one-month follow-up, but not between one- and six-month follow-up. No significant differences were found on the Mental Health Summary index based on alcohol abuse history for either time period.

"For liver transplant patients, improvements in psychosocial functioning and quality of life precede improvements in physical quality of life. We found that weakened physical quality of life improvements for patients with alcohol abuse histories are related to greater pain and physical deficits," explains Dr. Eshelman.

"Some alcoholics may have lower pain thresholds and may have used substances for self-medication for both physical and emotional pain, and post-transplant, they may have less effective coping strategies to manage pain."

According to the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network, more than 6,000 people undergo transplant surgery each year and there are nearly 17,000 people currently waiting for liver transplant.
-end-
The study was funded by Henry Ford Hospital.

Henry Ford Health System

Related Liver Transplant Articles from Brightsurf:

Advanced liver disease patients and transplant recipients need specific care during COVID-19
The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL) and the European Society of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ESCMID) have issued a Position Paper, providing recommendations for clinicians caring for patients with liver diseases during the current pandemic.

Certain liver cells may help prevent organ rejection after transplant, study finds
Mesenchymal stromal cells from fat tissue and bone marrow are widely used in therapeutic trials for their anti-inflammatory qualities, but new Mayo Clinic research finds that liver cells may be of greater value.

University of Cincinnati finds new option for liver transplant patients
Budesonide, a drug commonly used to treat Crohn's Disease, may offer fewer side effects and work at least as well as prednisone as an anti-organ rejection medication in liver transplant patients.

Cleveland clinic's first purely laparoscopic living donor surgery for liver transplant
Cleveland Clinic has successfully performed the Midwest's first purely laparoscopic living donor surgery for liver transplantation in an adult recipient.

Alcohol relapse rate among liver transplant recipients identical regardless of sobriety period
For decades, patients with liver disease related to alcohol use have been told they must be sober for six months before they can get a liver transplant.

Why liver transplant waitlists might misclassify high-risk patients
A new study in the journal Gastroenterology reveals that the standard method for ranking patients on the waitlist for lifesaving liver transplantation may not prioritize some of the sickest candidates for the top of the list.

Liver transplant for alcohol-related liver disease in US
The proportion of liver transplants in the United States for alcohol-associated liver disease increased between 2002 and 2016, with much of the increase associated with a decrease in liver transplant for hepatitis C virus infection because of antiviral therapy.

African-Americans may live longer after liver transplant if their donors are the same race
African-American adults undergoing liver transplant to treat liver cancer lived significantly longer if their organ donor was also African-American.

Liver transplant survival rate sees improvement among older adults
To learn more about older adults and liver transplants, a team of researchers studied information recorded by the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) from 2003 to 2016.

Anticancer drug offers potential alternative to transplant for patients with liver failure
Patients suffering sudden liver failure could in the future benefit from a new treatment that could reduce the need for transplants, research published today shows.

Read More: Liver Transplant News and Liver Transplant Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.