Background: Recurrence of primary biliary cirrhosis in the liver allograft remains controversial.
Methods: We have examined the liver allograft biopsies taken at 1 and 2 years after transplantation from patients receiving either FK506 or cyclosporin as part of a multi-centre trial.
Results: Histological features characteristic for primary biliary cirrhosis, including bile duct damage, ductopenia, bile duct proliferation and portal granulomas, were found more commonly and earlier after transplantation in patients receiving FK506 than cyclosporin. During the 2-year period, seven of 16 patients receiving FK506 and only one of 11 on cyclosporin had a graft biopsy suggestive of recurrent primary biliary cirrhosis.
Conclusions: These findings confirm earlier reports that features of primary biliary cirrhosis recur in the liver allograft in some patients and suggest that the rate of recurrence may be affected by the immunosuppression regimen used.