Background: Transthyretin (TTR) amyloidosis is a group of systemic amyloidoses disorders caused by an amyloidogenic TTR variant. Untreated, it slowly leads to severely disabling symptoms that relentlessly progress until the death of the patient. Because the mutant form of TTR is produced mainly in the liver, successful orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) results in the elimination of the source of the variant TTR molecule and is presently the only known curative treatment. OLT in patients with familial amyloidotic polyneuropathy (FAP) was first performed in 1990 at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, and because the results were promising other centers took up the procedure.
Methods: To gain as great an experience as possible regarding this treatment, the Familial Amyloidotic Polyneuropathy World Transplant Registry (FAPWTR) was initiated in 1995, and this article presents the 10-year registry results.
Results: A total of 54 centers in 16 countries have performed OLT for FAP, and today approximately 60 OLTs are performed annually worldwide. During the last decade, a total of 539 patients have undergone 579 OLTs. Patient survival is excellent (overall 5-year patient survival 77%) and comparable to the survival with OLT performed for other chronic liver disorders, but longer follow-up is needed to compare the outcome after OLT with the natural course of the disease. The main cause of death was cardiac related (39%).
Conclusions: We believe that the FAPWTR has become a valuable tool that will help to accurately evaluate the potential risks and benefits of OLT in patients with FAP and promote a fruitful collaboration between centers engaged in this field.