Survival without biliary complications after liver transplant for primary sclerosing cholangitis

Exp Clin Transplant. 2013 Dec;11(6):510-21. doi: 10.6002/ect.2013.0051.


Objectives: Patients who have a liver transplant for primary sclerosing cholangitis may develop recurrent disease and biliary complications, organ loss necessitating revision liver transplant, or death. We evaluated long-term outcomes in patients who had liver transplant for primary sclerosing cholangitis.

Materials and methods: In 71 patients who had a liver transplant for end-stage liver disease because of primary sclerosing cholangitis, a retrospective review was done to evaluate biliary complication-free survival, transplanted organ survival, and death. Human leukocyte antigen typing and matching were reviewed.

Results: There were 39 patients (55%) who had biliary complications, loss of the liver transplant, or death at a mean 12.1 years after transplant. The 5- and 10-year event-free survival reached 74.6% and 45% (53 patients after 5 years, and 32 patients after 10 years). Male sex of transplant recipients was a significant risk factor for biliary complications, revision liver transplant, or death. Most patients had inflammatory bowel disease, primarily ulcerative colitis. The human leukocyte antigen profile or number of mismatches had no effect on complication-free survival.

Conclusions: Biliary complications, revision liver transplant, and death are a useful combined primary endpoint for recurrent primary sclerosing cholangitis after liver transplant.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Biliary Tract Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / mortality*
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / surgery*
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Graft Rejection / epidemiology*
  • HLA Antigens
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Factors
  • Survival Rate
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult


  • HLA Antigens