Expanding Guidelines


Anchor lead: The time people must wait to receive a liver transplant may now be shorter, Elizabeth Tracey reports

Liver transplants are most often needed because someone’s liver is damaged due to alcohol use, so centers used to require potential liver recipients with this history to remain abstinent from alcohol for six months prior to transplant. No more, says Andrew Cameron, director of organ transplantation at Johns Hopkins.

Cameron: The most common indication for liver transplant now is previous alcohol use. Results after transplant are fantastic. Previously we had a rule that there was a six month waiting period to make you eligible for a liver transplant. We now know that there are better ways to figure out who will do well after liver transplant. Things like do you have insight into the nature of the problem? Do you have good family support? Do you have a willingness, if you didn’t have a waiting period before transplant, to have a rehabilitation period after transplant? :34

Cameron says such strategies may improve overall outcomes for people who need a liver transplant. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey.