DOI: 10.1097/meg.0000000000002749 ISSN: 0954-691X

Referral for liver transplant following acute variceal bleeding: a multicenter cohort study

Sofia Bragança, Marta Ramos, Sara Lopes, Gonçalo Alexandrino, Milena Mendes, Rui Perdigoto, João Coimbra, Hugo P. Marques, Filipe S. Cardoso
  • Gastroenterology
  • Hepatology


Referral for liver transplant (LT) following acute variceal bleeding (AVB) varies widely. We aimed to characterize and assess its impact on clinical outcomes.


Observational retrospective cohort including cirrhosis patients with AVB from 3 hospitals in Lisbon, Portugal, from 2018 to 2019. Primary exposure was referral for LT and primary endpoint was all-cause mortality within 2 years of index hospital admission.


Among 143 patients, median (IQR) age was 59 (52–72) years and 90 (62.9%) were males. Median (IQR) MELDNa scores on hospital admission and discharge were 15 (11–21) and 13 (10–16), respectively. Overall, 30 (21.0%) patients were assessed for LT, 13 (9.1%) prior to and 17 (11.9%) within 2 years of hospital admission. Overall, 58 (40.6%) patients had at least one potential contra-indication for transplant. LT was performed in 3 (2.1%) patients (among 5 listed). Overall, 34 (23.8%) and 62 (43.4%) patients died at 6 weeks and 2 years post hospital admission, respectively. Following adjustment for confounders, referral for LT was associated with lower 2-year mortality (aHR (95% CI) = 0.20 (0.05–0.85)).


In a multicenter cohort of cirrhosis patients with AVB, less than a quarter underwent formal LT evaluation. Improved referral for LT following AVB may benefit cirrhosis patients’ longer-term mortality.

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