"Weighing the risk": Obesity and outcomes following liver transplantation

World J Hepatol. 2015 Jun 18;7(11):1484-93. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v7.i11.1484.


Obesity is on the rise worldwide. As a result, unprecedented rates of patients are presenting with end stage liver disease in the setting of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and are requiring liver transplantation. There are significant concerns that the risk factors associated with obesity and the metabolic syndrome might have a detrimental effect on the long term outcomes following liver transplantation. In general, short term patient and graft outcomes for both obese and morbidly obese patients are comparable with that of non-obese patients, however, several studies report an increase in peri-operative morbidity and increased length of stay. Continued studies documenting the long-term outcomes from liver transplantation are needed to further examine the risk of recurrent disease (NAFLD) and also further define the role risk factors such cardiovascular disease might play long term. Effective weight reduction in the post liver transplant setting may mitigate the risks associated with the metabolic syndrome long-term.

Keywords: Cirrhosis; End stage liver disease; Liver transplantation; Morbid obesity; Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis; Obesity.

Publication types

  • Review