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Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume 28, Issue 4, Pages 213-219
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2014/453875
Review

Care of the Liver Transplant Patient

Mamatha Bhat,1 Said A Al-Busafi,1,2 Marc Deschênes,1 and Peter Ghali1

1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Medicine, McGill University Health Centre, Montreal, Canada
2Division of Gastroenterology, Sultan Qaboos University, Oman

Received 18 April 2013; Accepted 23 December 2013

Copyright © 2014 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.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To provide an approach to the care of liver transplant (LT) patients, a growing patient population with unique needs.

METHODS: A literature search of PubMed for guidelines and review articles using the keywords “liver transplantation”, “long term complications” and “medical management” was conducted, resulting in 77 articles.

RESULTS: As a result of being on immunosuppression, LT recipients are at increased risk of infections and must be screened regularly for metabolic complications and malignancies.

DISCUSSION: Although immunosuppression is key to maintaining allograft health after transplantation, it comes with its own set of medical issues to follow. Physicians following LT recipients must be aware of the greater risk for hypertension, diabetes, dyslipidemia, renal failure, metabolic bone disease and malignancies in these patients, all of whom require regular monitoring and screening. Vaccination, quality of life, sexual function and pregnancy must be specifically addressed in transplant patients.