Alcohol Consumption Post-Liver Transplantation: A Cross-Sectional Study

Carolina Chálim Rebelo, Catarina Félix, Filipe S. Cardoso, Luis Bagulho, Monica Sousa, Milena Mendes, Helena Glória, Élia Mateus, Inês Mega, Miguel Jara, Hugo Pinto Marques, Fernando Nolasco, Américo Martins, Rui Perdigoto

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Background: Listing patients with alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD) for liver transplant (LT) remains challenging especially due to the risk of alcohol resumption post-LT. We aimed to evaluate post-LT alcohol consumption at a Portuguese transplant center. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional study including LT recipients from 2019 at Curry Cabral Hospital, Lisbon, Portugal. A pretested survey and a validated Portuguese translation of the Alcohol Use Disorder Identification Test (AUDIT) were applied via a telephone call. Alcohol consumption was defined by patients' self-reports or a positive AUDIT. Results: In 2019, 122 patients underwent LT, and 99 patients answered the survey (June 2021). The mean (SD) age was 57 (10) years, 70 patients (70.7%) were males, and 49 (49.5%) underwent ALD-related LT. During a median (IQR) follow-up of 24 (20-26) months post-index LT, 22 (22.2%) recipients consumed any amount of alcohol: 14 had a drink monthly or less and 8 drank 2-4 times/month. On drinking days, 18 patients usually consumed 1-2 drinks and the remainder no more than 3-4 drinks. One patient reported having drunk ≥6 drinks on one occasion. All post-LT drinking recipients were considered low risk (score <8) as per the AUDIT score (median [IQR] of 1 [1-2]). No patient reported alcohol-related problems, whether self-inflicted or toward others. Drinking recipients were younger (53 vs. 59 years, p = 0.020), had more non-ALD-related LT (72.7 vs. 44.2%, p = 0.018) and active smoking (31.8 vs. 10.4%, p = 0.037) than abstinent ones. Conclusion: In our cohort, about a quarter of LT recipients consumed alcohol early posttransplant, all with a low-risk pattern according to the AUDIT score.

Original languageEnglish
JournalGE Portuguese Journal of Gastroenterology
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 2022


  • Alcoholism
  • Liver transplant
  • Recidivism
  • Relapse


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