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Original Article

Adult hepatic retransplantation. UCL experience

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Introduction : Retransplantation is a rescue operation in orthotopic liver transplantation. Its appropriateness has been questioned on medical, economical and also on ethical grounds. Material and methods: During the period february 1984-december 1997, 54 (14.5%) of 372 adult patients were retransplanted ; three (0.8%) of them had two retransplantations. Indications were graft dysfunction [(primary non function (8x) and early dysfunction (14 x in 13 patients)], immunological failure [acute (9 x in 8 patients) and chronic (9x) rejection], technical failure [(hepatic artery thrombosis (5 x in four patients), aflogiraft decapsulation (lx), ischaemic biliary tract lesions (6x)] and recurrent viral allograft disease [HBV (4x) and HCV (1x)]. Results: Five year actuarial patient survival after retransplantation was 70.8%, which was identical to this of non retransplanted patients (72%). Early (< 3 mo) mortality was significantly lower in elective procedures (9.1% - 2/22 pat. vs 34.4% - 11/32 pat. in urgent procedures p < 0,05). Mortality was highest in the graft dysfunction (23.8%, 5/21 pat.) and immunological failure (41%, 7/17 pat.) groups. Five Of six patients retransplanted for rejection, whilst being on renal support, and two of three patients retransplanted urgently twice died of infectious complications. All patients retransplanted because of recurrent allograft disease were long-term (> 3 mo) survivors. Both HBV-infected patients died of allograft reinfection 7 months later; the two HBV-Delta infected patients were, free of infection, 44 and 6 months after retransplantation under BBV-iniLmunoprophylaxis. Length of hospitalisation after primary transplantation and retransplantation were identical (median of 16 days - range 11 to 40 vs 14 days (range 7 to 110). Economical study during the period 1990-1995 showed that costs of the first hospitalization of primary transplantation and of retransplantation could be equalized during the period 1994-1995 as a consequence of the more frequent use of elective retransplantation (median 1,3 million BE, range 720.988 to 8.887.145 vs 1.1 million RF, range 943.685 to 1.940.409). Conclusions: Hepatic retransplantation is a successful safety net for many liver transplant patients. Every effort should be made to do this intervention electively under minimal immunosuppression. In case of immunological graft failure and hepatic artery thrombosis retransplantation must be done early in order to avoid infectious complications ; the same holds for ischaemic bifiary tract lesions which cannot be cured by interventional radiology. Retransplantation for recurrent benign disease should be restricted to those diseases which can be effectively treated by (neo- and) adjuvant antiviral therapy. [Product Details...]

Small intestinal brush border enzymes in cystic fibrosis

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The study concerns the maltase, saccharase, lactase and alkaline phosphatase activity in small intestinal biopsy specimens from 61 consecutively admitted, untreated, Caucasian cystic fibrosis patients. A group of 319 age matched controls admitted during the same time period for undefined gastrointestinal or nutritional disorders acted as the controls. In order to eliminate morphological damage as a confounding factor, the enzyme activities were studied in small intestinal biopsy specimens having both normal stereomicroscopic and histological features. It was shown that neither maltase nor saccharase activity was different in the two groups, in contrast to lactase and alkaline phophatase activity, that was significantly lower in cystic fibrosis patients. The differences could not be explained by the nutritional status as judged by the body mass index. Lactase activity is known to be easily affected by numerous enteropathies. As the information on alkaline phosphatase activity is limited, the low activity is discussed in more detail. Taking into account the literature data, the low alkaline phophatase activity is tentatively attributed either to enhanced release from the brush border or to the faulty handling of alkaline phophatase protein in the post-golgi compartments secondary to the accumulation of incorrectly glycosylated CFTR in the same cell structures. (Acta ga,stroenterot. belg., 1999, 62, 267-271). [Product Details...]

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