Y. Patel, C. Berg, C. Moylan
Jan 27, 2016
Digestive Diseases and Sciences
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common etiology of chronic liver disease in developed countries and is on trajectory to become the leading indication for liver transplantation in the USA and much of the world. Patients with NAFLD cirrhosis awaiting liver transplant face unique challenges and increased risk for waiting list stagnation and dropout due to burdensome comorbidities including obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and kidney disease. Thus far, patients transplanted for NAFLD cirrhosis have excellent mid- and long-term patient and graft survival, but concerns regarding short-term morbidity and mortality continue to exist. Post-liver transplantation, NAFLD occurs as both a recurrent and de novo manifestation, each with unique outcomes. NAFLD in the donor population is of concern given the growing demand for liver transplantation and mounting pressure to expand the donor pool. This review addresses key issues surrounding NAFLD as an indication for transplantation, including its increasing prevalence, unique patient demographics, outcomes related to liver transplantation, development of post-liver transplantation NAFLD, and NAFLD in the liver donor population. It also highlights exciting areas where further research is needed, such as the role of bariatric surgery and preconditioning of marginal donor grafts.