Originally considered to be an immunologically privileged site, transplanted livers are now known to be susceptible to immunological responses. However, rejection reactions in liver transplant patients are clearly distinct to those observed in kidney and other whole organ transplant patients.
The most common cause of liver damage requiring transplantation is chronic active non-A, non-B, viral, hepatitis. However, liver transplantation has been performed also in individuals with primary biliary cirrhosis, hepatitis B, cirrhosis, and inborn errors of metabolism.
Post-transplantation infection is common and patient survival is related to the type of infectious agent involved. In general, bacterial infections respond well to antibiotic therapy whilst fungal or viral infections are associated with a poor prognosis.
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