Who Needs a Liver Transplant?

HomeLifestyleHealthWho Needs a Liver Transplant?

Do you know who needs a liver transplant? Children and adults both may undergo a liver transplant in certain stages based on the liver condition. Transplants of the liver are done to replace damaged livers with healthy ones.

A whole liver transplant may not always be required depending on the liver transplant indications. In some situations, young transplant patients just need a portion of the liver.

As a result, genetically compatible family members can donate part of their livers, whether living donors or live donor transplantation.

Most livers are donated by unrelated, dead donors. A liver transplant is required when the liver’s functions are severely compromised and cannot be restored by the body.

A liver transplant may be potentially helpful in children and adults with liver failure brought on by chronic liver disease, primary hepatic tumors, or systemic illnesses. Below you will see who needs a liver transplant and when you need it:

Liver Transplants in Children

Do you have any idea why a child needs a liver transplant? Biliary atresia, which causes the bile ducts that carry bile from the liver to the gall bladder and improve digestion to be underdeveloped, is a major cause of liver transplantation in children.

Surgery to repair the body may be performed in the first few months of life to treat this issue. In clinical cases, some children eventually have severe jaundice and liver failure and also need a liver transplant.

Liver Transplants in Adults

Hepatitis C virus infection is one of the most frequent causes of liver damage in adults, which necessitates liver transplantation.

Adults with the following conditions are frequently in need of a liver transplant:

  • Primary Biliary Cirrhosis
  • hepatitis B virus
  • Non Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
  • Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

Hepatoblastoma in children and hepatocellular carcinoma in adults are the two tumor types that frequently require a liver transplant. Rarer causes include:

  • Drug overdose.
  • Drug overdose with liver-damaging drugs like paracetamol.

Cirrhosis complications, primary biliary cirrhosis, and other diseases are some of the frequent and uncommon illnesses that can cause liver failure and necessitate a liver transplant.

Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

A liver transplant is required in the case of primary biliary cirrhosis, a kind of chronic liver disease. Bile may have accumulated inside the liver.

The immune system attacking the liver’s bile ducts is the cause of this. This is still one of the most frequent causes of liver transplantation.

Metabolic Diseases

Metabolic diseases also cause liver transplants based on the liver condition:

  • Primary oxaluria
  • Crigler Najar syndrome urea cycle defects
  • Familial amyloidosis
  • Urea cycle enzyme deficiencies
  • 1-antitrypsin deficiency
  • Familial hypercholesterolaemia
  • Wilson’s disease
  • Tyrosinemia
  • Familial hypercholesterolaemia
  • Glycogen storage disease

Biliary Atresia

Biliary atresia is the most frequent cause of child liver transplantation. Only 1 in every 18,000 children is impacted by biliary atresia. Other diseases that affect newborns and young children include:

  • Idiopathic neonatal hepatitis
  • Familial intrahepatic cholestasis (FIC)
  • Cholestatic liver disease
  • Non-syndromic biliary hypoplasia
  • Alagille’s syndrome
  • Inherited metabolic liver disease

Sudden Liver Failure

Drug overdose with medications like acetaminophen can cause sudden liver failure that requires transplantation.

Acute liver failure can also result from exposure to the anesthetic chemical halothane. Younger people are more likely to get this kind of liver failure.

Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

Another chronic liver inflammation that requires transplantation is primary sclerosing cholangitis.

After several years, liver failure typically results. About 1 in 16,000 people between the ages of 30 and 50 are affected by this illness.

Liver Cancer

Liver cancer is another condition that demands a liver transplant. An estimated 2,750 new cases of liver cancer are detected each year, with the majority affecting those 65 years of age or older.

Autoimmune Hepatitis

When the body fails to identify the liver as its own and begins to attack the liver tissues, autoimmune hepatitis develops.

Failure of the liver may result from this. This reaction’s cause is unknown. Only 1 in 100,000 persons in experience this illness each year.

Who May Qualify for a Liver Transplant?

Since a liver transplant is major surgery, a patient must meet a number of requirements, such as:

  • The patient should not have additional conditions that cannot be cured or be too ill to likely survive the transplant procedure. A liver transplant may improve a patient’s quality of life.
  • All other medical or surgical therapy options have failed to be effective or are not in the patient’s best interest.
  • The patient and support systems, including family and friends, are completely committed to and comply with what is required before and after the transplant to ensure the transplant’s success.
  • The patient financial liaison and social worker may be able to help the patient identify alternative means of paying for their care. This would be able to provide necessary access to money for the transplant process, drugs used after the transplant, and other healthcare expenses.

The following are some indications for liver transplantation:

  • Liver failure developed suddenly and acutely in the patient.
  • The patient has cirrhosis, a chronic liver disease.
  • A patient has a liver condition that could be severe and have a negative impact on their quality of life.
  • A patient has conditions including primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and biliary atresia that impair the bile ducts, which are the tubes that transport bile away from the liver. The most frequent cause of a child liver transplant is biliary atresia.

The Liver Transplant Survival Rate

Live donor liver transplant success rates vary depending on the types of hospitals and medical professionals handling the case.

For example, the success rate for liver transplant surgery in India is over 90%, and more than 80% of patients survive and go on to have normal lives ten years or longer after the transplant.

Bottom Line

The above-listed reasons for liver transplant and who needs a liver transplant. You should consult your liver doctor first if you are thinking about getting a liver transplant.


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