Background and aims: Liver transplantation (LTx) remains the only curative treatment in patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) and liver failure. In Helsinki we have also performed pre-emptive LTx in PSC patients without liver insufficiency but considered to have a high risk for cholangiocarcinoma. The present study evaluates the possible differences in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in these two PSC groups before and after LTx.Methods: The total study population was 48 patients, 16 were transplanted due to increased risk of cholangiocarcinoma without liver insufficiency (the premalignant group) and 32 patients with end-stage liver disease (the symptomatic group).Results: HRQoL remained good after LTx in the premalignant group, and this difference was also clinically important compared with the symptomatic group, although not statistically significant. Both groups had slightly lower mean HRQoL scores after LTx than the age- and gender-standardized general population, and this difference was not clinically important in either group and statistically significant only in the symptomatic group.Conclusions: HRQoL does not decrease markedly after LTx in the premalignant PSC group, and this group does cope better than the symptomatic PSC group. After LTx, mean HRQoL of the premalignant group stays close to that of the age- and gender-standardized general population.
Keywords: Primary sclerosing cholangitis; cholangiocarcinoma; liver transplantation; quality of life.