To represent the current state of the art of orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). The constantly expanding spectrum of indications are discussed in detail, and the specific risks of the individual indications considered. Major points discussed: On the basis of the authors' own results obtained at the Rudolf Virchow Hospital, University of Berlin, the current survival rates following orthotopic liver transplantation are shown. In addition to established indications for liver transplantation (primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, acute hepatic failure, various metabolic diseases, small hepatocellular carcinomas and a number of posthepatic cirrhoses) the indication and results of liver transplantation in HbsAg-positive and alcoholic cirrhosis are presented in detail. In contrast to reports in the Anglo-American literature, the incidence and severity of graft re-infections with the hepatitis virus was appreciably reduced through the use of anti-HBs hyperimmunoglobulin preparations in HBsAg-positive cirrhotics. The results obtained were comparable with those achieved for other indications.