Alcohol use and smoking after liver transplantation; complications and prevention

Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2017 Apr;31(2):181-185. doi: 10.1016/j.bpg.2017.03.005. Epub 2017 Apr 12.


The last thirty years have been very prosperous in the field of liver transplantation (LT), with great advances in organ conservation, surgical techniques, peri-operative management and long-term immunosuppression, resulting in improved patient and graft survival rates as well as quality of life. However, substance addiction after LT, namely alcohol and tobacco, results in short term morbidity together with medium and long-term mortality. The main consequences can be vascular (increased risk of hepatic artery thrombosis in smokers), hepatic (recurrent alcoholic cirrhosis in alcohol relapsers) and oncological (increased risk of malignancy in patients consuming tobacco and/or alcohol after LT). This issue has thus drawn attention in the field of LT research. The management of these two at-risk behaviors addictions need the implication of hepatologists and addiction specialists, before and after LT. This review will summarize our current knowledge in alcohol use and cigarette smoking in the setting of LT, give practical tools for identification of high risk patients and treatment options.

Keywords: Addiction specialist; Alcohol relapse; Liver transplantation; Post-transplant malignancy; Smoking.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Alcoholic / etiology*
  • Liver Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Liver Transplantation / mortality
  • Quality of Life / psychology*
  • Recurrence
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Survival Rate