Patterns of Alcohol Use After Early Liver Transplantation for Alcoholic Hepatitis

Brian P. Lee, Gene Y. Im, John P. Rice, Ann Lazar, Ethan Weinberg, Hyosun Han, Haripriya Maddur, R. Mark Ghobrial, George Therapondos, Christine Hsu, Oren K. Fix, Sheila Eswaran, Kirti Shetty, Jag Chhatwal, Ozden O. Dalgic, Neha Jakhete, Constance Mobley, David W. Victor, Neil Mehta, Lisanne DingesMary Rinella, Thomas D. Schiano, Michael R. Lucey, Norah Terrault

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

25 Scopus citations


Background & Aims: Early liver transplantation (LT) for alcoholic hepatitis (AH) is lifesaving but concerns regarding return to harmful alcohol use remain. We sought to identify distinct patterns of alcohol use post-LT to inform pre-LT candidate selection and post-LT addiction care. Methods: Detailed post-LT alcohol use data was gathered retrospectively from consecutive patients with severe AH at 11 ACCELERATE-AH sites from 2006–2018. Latent class analysis identified longitudinal patterns of alcohol use post-LT. Logistic and Cox regression evaluated associations between patterns of alcohol use with pre-LT variables and post-LT survival. A microsimulation model estimated the effect of selection criteria on overall outcomes. Results: Of 153 LT recipients, 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival were 95%, 88% and 82%. Of 146 LT recipients surviving to home discharge, 4 distinct longitudinal patterns of post-LT alcohol use were identified: Pattern 1 [abstinent](n = 103; 71%), pattern 2 [late/non-heavy](n = 9; 6.2%), pattern 3 [early/non-heavy](n = 22; 15%), pattern 4 [early/heavy](n = 12; 8.2%). One-year survival was similar among the 4 patterns (100%), but patients with early post-LT alcohol use had lower 5-year survival (62% and 53%) compared to abstinent and late/non-heavy patterns (95% and 100%). Early alcohol use patterns were associated with younger age, multiple prior rehabilitation attempts, and overt encephalopathy. In simulation models, the pattern of post-LT alcohol use changed the average life-expectancy after early LT for AH. Conclusions: A significant majority of LT recipients for AH maintain longer-term abstinence, but there are distinct patterns of alcohol use associated with higher risk of 3- and 5-year mortality. Pre-LT characteristics are associated with post-LT alcohol use patterns and may inform candidate selection and post-LT addiction care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)409-418.e5
JournalClinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Issue number2
StateAccepted/In press - Dec 3 2020


  • Abstinence
  • Alcohol-Associated Liver Disease
  • Mortality
  • Selection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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