Harefuah. 2023 Nov;162(9):568-574.
[Article in Hebrew]


Liver transplantation improves the survival and the quality of life of patients with liver failure and primary liver carcinoma. Candidates for liver transplantation are thoroughly evaluated to rule out infectious and malignant conditions that might deteriorate following the immune suppression so that their cardiovascular and pulmonary function can sustain them through the surgical procedure. Poor nutritional status, sarcopenia and frailty portend a poor prognosis before and after the transplantation. Steatohepatitis (NASH) emerges as the most common indication for liver transplantation due to liver cirrhosis and liver tumors. NASH patients are often elderly and have comorbidities such as cardiovascular disease, renal failure and sarcopenia. Particular effort should be invested to ameliorate these conditions in order to minimize waiting list dropout and to improve the outcome after surgery. The Israeli Ministry of Health is responsible for the regulation of organ transplants in Israel - by law. It organizes the procurement and allocation of organs and supervises all the transplant activity. All the candidates are listed on the national waiting list and the priority is allocated according to the MELD-Na. Transplant candidates who carry EDI cards (expressing their advanced directive of consent to organ donation after death) receive additional points on the waiting list. Acute liver failure, hepatopulmonary syndrome and hepatocellular carcinoma patients are prioritized according to their condition, as their MELD score does not reflect their prognosis. To overcome the continuous shortage of organs new techniques have been adopted such as living donor liver transplantation, better management of marginal livers, be they from brain dead donors or donations after circulatory death. The main challenges after liver transplantation are the metabolic syndrome and its complications, renal failure and malignancy. An aggressive, early preventive approach is highly recommended to promote a healthy lifestyle, optimize medical therapy and screen for malignancy.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Living Donors
  • Neoplasms*
  • Non-alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease*
  • Quality of Life
  • Renal Insufficiency*
  • Sarcopenia*
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement*
  • Waiting Lists