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. 2014 May 14;20(18):5363-74.
doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i18.5363.

Liver Transplantation: Fifty Years of Experience

Free PMC article

Liver Transplantation: Fifty Years of Experience

Alice Tung Wan Song et al. World J Gastroenterol. .
Free PMC article


Since 1963, when the first human liver transplantation (LT) was performed by Thomas Starzl, the world has witnessed 50 years of development in surgical techniques, immunosuppression, organ allocation, donor selection, and the indications and contraindications for LT. This has led to the mainstream, well-established procedure that has saved innumerable lives worldwide. Today, there are hundreds of liver transplant centres in over 80 countries. This review aims to describe the main aspects of LT regarding the progressive changes that have occurred over the years. We herein review historical aspects since the first experimental studies and the first attempts at human transplantation. We also provide an overview of immunosuppressive agents and their potential side effects, the evolution of the indications and contraindications of LT, the evolution of survival according to different time periods, and the evolution of methods of organ allocation.

Keywords: History; Indications; Liver transplantation; Organ allocation; Survival.


Figure 1
Figure 1
History of organ allocation policies in liver transplant in the United States. ICU: Intensive care unit; MELD: Model for End-stage Liver Disease; PELD: Pediatric End-Stage Liver Disease.

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