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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology
Volume 18, Suppl C, Pages 5C-11C

Steroid Avoidance in Liver Transplantation

José Oberholzer, Mohammed Al-Saghier, and Norman M Kneteman

Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Surgery, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Copyright © 2004 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Corticosteroids have always played a valuable role in transplantation. Unfortunately, they are subject to a wide range of side effects, such as hyperlipidemia, hypertension, diabetes mellitus, osteoporosis, growth retardation and Cushingoid appearance. Steroids may also exacerbate problems that existed before surgery, including malignancy, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. New, powerful immunosuppressants have allowed steroid use to be reduced or avoided altogether, but use of these regimens is not simple and may be associated with late acute rejection and recurrence of autoimmune disease. The present review examines the rationale for steroid avoidance in liver transplantation and assesses the new regimens that are currently being developed.