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

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


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

METHODS: 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.

RESULTS: 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)).

CONCLUSION: 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)657-664
Number of pages8
JournalEuropean Journal Of Gastroenterology & Hepatology
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2024


  • Male
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Liver Transplantation/adverse effects
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Esophageal and Gastric Varices/surgery
  • Gastrointestinal Hemorrhage/surgery
  • Liver Cirrhosis/complications
  • cirrhosis
  • mortality
  • transplant
  • variceal bleed


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