Management and outcomes after liver transplantation for progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Hepatol Commun. 2023 Sep 27;7(10):e0286. doi: 10.1097/HC9.0000000000000286. eCollection 2023 Oct 1.


Background: Progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC) is a heterogeneous rare congenital cholestatic liver disease. Disease progression might necessitate liver transplantation (LT). The aim of this study was to describe the outcome of PFIC1-4 patients after LT.

Methods: Electronic databases were searched to identify studies on PFIC and LT. Patients were categorized according to PFIC type, genotype, graft type, age at LT, time of follow-up, and complications and treatment during follow-up.

Results: Seventy-nine studies with 507 patients met inclusion criteria; most patients were classified as PFIC1-3. The median age at LT was 50 months. The overall 5-year patient survival was 98.5%. PFIC1 patients with diarrhea after LT were at significant risk of developing graft steatosis ( p < 0.0001). Meta-analysis showed an efficacy of 100% [95% CI: 73.9%-100%] for surgical biliary diversion to ameliorate steatosis and 94.9% [95% CI: 53.7%-100%] to improve diarrhea (n = 8). PFIC2 patients with bile salt export pump (BSEP)2 or BSEP3-genotype were at significant risk of developing antibody-induced BSEP deficiency (AIBD) ( p < 0.0001), which was reported in 16.2% of patients at a median of 36.5 months after LT. Meta-analysis showed an efficacy of 81.1% [95% CI: 47.5%-100%] for rituximab-based treatment regimens to improve AIBD (n = 18). HCC was detected in 3.6% of PFIC2 and 13.8% of PFIC4 patients at LT.

Conclusions: Fifty percent of PFIC1 patients develop diarrhea and steatosis after LT. Biliary diversion can protect the graft from injury. PFIC2 patients with BSEP2 and BSEP3 genotypes are at significant risk of developing AIBD, and rituximab-based treatment regimens effectively improve AIBD. PFIC3 patients have no PFIC-specific complications following LT.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular* / complications
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cholestasis*
  • Cholestasis, Intrahepatic*
  • Diarrhea / complications
  • Fatty Liver*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms* / complications
  • Liver Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Rituximab
  • Steroid Metabolism, Inborn Errors*


  • Rituximab

Supplementary concepts

  • Cholestasis, progressive familial intrahepatic 1
  • Cholestasis, progressive familial intrahepatic 2
  • Bile acid synthesis defect, congenital, 1