Initial report of the Australian National Pilot Liver Transplantation Programme

A. G. R. Sheil, J. F. Thompson, N. D. Gallagher, S. F. A. Dorney, G. W. McCaughan, M. S. Stephen, A. A. Eyers, J. C. Graham, M. Bookallil, B. M. Hall, V. L. Harrison, R. Vickery, K. Rickard, R. Waugh, W. Hensley, J. F. Huang, D. M. Painter, G. Kyd

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Our group began a National Pilot Liver Transplantation Programme in January, 1986, for which this report documents the results of the first 15 months' work. Seventy potential recipients (55 adults, 15 children) were referred for consideration for liver transplantation either directly or by state selection committees that had been established in most Australian states. The most common conditions for referral of adults were chronic active hepatitis, primary sclerosing cholangitis and primary biliary cirrhosis; 11 patients had fulminant hepatic failure. In children, the most common condition for referral was biliary atresia. Twenty-nine (41%) patients were considered unsuitable candidates for liver transplantation, 25 patients (21 adults and four children) were accepted for transplantation at a later time, and 16 patients (11 adults and five children) were selected for immediate transplantation. Of these 16 patients, three patients died before a donor could be found. Of the 13 patients to receive transplants (one patient received two transplants), 10 patients (seven of nine adults; three of four children) are alive and well; nine patients have good liver function and one patient has impaired liver function. The additional costs of the Programme to the hospitals were estimated at approximately $2 million a year. It is concluded that for those persons who require liver transplantation in Australia, worthwhile survival after this procedure can be obtained.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)372-380
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Journal of Australia
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


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