Assessing and treating alcohol relapse risk in liver transplantation candidates
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences. Pharmacy
Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences
Alcohol and alcoholism. - Oxford, 1983, currens
, p. 164-172
University of Antwerp
In Europe between 30 and 50% of all liver transplantations (LTX) are done within the context of chronic end-stage alcoholic liver disease (ALD). However, post-operatively 2025% of these patients lapse or relapse into heavy alcohol use. Thus, assessment of alcohol relapse risk before enlisting and therapeutic follow-up during and after LTX is of utmost importance. However, as yet there are enormous differences between European countries and between transplant centers, with regard to the assessment methods and criteria and the implementation of therapeutic follow-up. Only the so-called 6-month abstinence rule is widely used. However, there are not much scientific data validating its use in predicting relapse. Thus, there is a clear need of a more homogeneous approach, which was the focus of a symposium of the European Federation of Addiction Societies during the 14th conference of the European Society for Biomedical Research on Alcoholism, 2013 (ESBRA), entitled Liver transplantation: A European perspective. In a follow-up on this symposium, the authors aim to sum up the evidence of psychiatric assessment criteria and psychiatric treatment interventions relevant in the context of patient selection and patient follow-up within ALD transplantation procedures. Based upon these findings, we propose elements of a procedure that can serve as a first step toward a model of good practice regarding addiction-specialist input within the pre- and post-transplantation period.