Successful orthotopic liver transplantation in an adult patient with sickle cell disease and review of the literature

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Morey Blinder *
B. Geng
Mauricio Lisker-Melman
Jeffrey S. Crippin
Kevin Korenblat
William Chapman
Shalini Shenoy
Joshua J. Field
(*) Corresponding Author:
Morey Blinder | mblinder@dom.wustl.edu

Abstract

Sickle cell disease can lead to hepatic complications ranging from acute hepatic crises to chronic liver disease including intrahepatic cholestasis, and iron overload. Although uncommon, intrahepatic cholestasis may be severe and medical treatment of this complication is often ineffective. We report a case of a 37 year-old male patient with sickle cell anemia, who developed liver failure and underwent successful orthotopic liver transplantation. Both pre and post-operatively, he was maintained on red cell transfusions. He remains stable with improved liver function 42 months post transplant. The role for orthotopic liver transplantation is not well defined in patients with sickle cell disease, and the experience remains limited. Although considerable challenges of post-transplant graft complications remain, orthotopic liver transplantation should be considered as a treatment option for sickle cell disease patients with end-stage liver disease who have progressed despite conventional medical therapy. An extended period of red cell transfusion support may lessen the post-operative complications.

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