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עמוד בית
Sat, 02.03.24

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January 2023
Itai Kalisky MD, Yaakov Maor MD, Lilach Goldstein MD, Yael Inbar MD, Ziv Ben-Ari MD

Background: Acquired hepatocerebral degeneration (AHD) is a neurologic complication of severe chronic liver disease (CLD) with portosystemic shunts. The proposed etiology is manganese accumulation in the brain tissue, especially in the basal ganglia. Combination of clinical manifestation, mostly extrapyramidal movement disorders, and hyperintensities on T1-weighted brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is diagnostic. Although liver transplantation controversial, it is suggested for AHD.

Objectives: To depict clinical and neuroimaging characteristics and response to treatments in patients diagnosed with AHD at Sheba Medical Center.

Methods: Review of patients with AHD diagnosis at the Liver Diseases Center at Sheba Medical Center between 2012 and 2017, data of clinical and neuroimaging, follow-up, and response to treatments, including liver transplantation were recorded.

Results: Five patients with diagnosis of AHD were identified, median age at diagnosis 55 years (range 45–64 years). Four patients had cirrhosis at the time of AHD diagnosis. The main risk factor for AHD was the presence of portosystemic shunts. The most prevalent clinical manifestations were movement disorders, specifically a combination of extrapyramidal and cerebellar signs including instability, rigidity, tremor, bradykinesia, and cognitive impairment. Brain MRI revealed hyperintensities on T1-weighted images in the basal ganglia in all patients. Administration of antiparkinsonian drugs showed clinical improvement, whereas liver transplantation performed in two patients was not associated to neurological improvement.

Conclusions: AHD is related to portosystemic shunts. The combination of Parkinsonism and cerebellar signs and MRI pallidal lesions should alert physicians to the diagnosis. The role of liver transplantation in AHD is still controversial.

December 2018
Eviatar Nesher MD, Marius Braun MD, Sigal Eizner MD, Assaf Issachar MD, Michal Cohen MD, Amir Shlomai MD PhD, Michael Gurevich MD, Ran Tur-Kaspa MD and Eytan Mor MD

Background: The lack of organs for liver transplantation has prompted transplant professionals to study potential solutions, such as the use of livers from donors older than 70 years. This strategy is not widely accepted because potential risks of vascular and biliary complications and recurrence of hepatitis C.

Objectives: To examine the efficacy and safety of liver grafts from older donors for transplantation.

Methods: A retrospective analysis of data on 310 adults who underwent deceased donor liver transplantation between 2005 and 2015 was conducted. We compared graft and recipient survival, as well as major complications, of transplants performed with grafts from donors younger than 70 years (n=265, control group) and those older than 70 years (n=45, older-donor group), followed by multivariate analysis, to identify risk factors.

Results: There was no significant difference between the control and older-donor group at 1, 5, and 10 years of recipient survival (79.5% vs. 73.3%, 68.3% vs. 73.3%, 59.2% vs. 66.7%, respectively) or graft survival (74.0% vs. 71.0%, 62.7% vs. 71.0%, 54.8% vs. 64.5%, respectively). The rate of biliary and vascular complications was similar in both groups. Significant risk factors for graft failure were hepatitis C (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.92, 95% confidence interval [95%CI] 1.16–2.63), older donor age (HR = 1.02, 95%CI 1.007–1.031), and male gender of the recipient (HR = 1.65, 95%CI 1.06–2.55).

Conclusion: Donor age affects liver graft survival. However, grafts from donors older than 70 years may be equally safe if cold ischemia is maintained for less than 8 hours.

September 2006
M. Ben-Haim, M. Carmiel, P. Katz, E. Shabtai, R. Oren and R. Nakache

Background: The model for end-stage liver disease is the best available predictor of waiting list mortality among liver transplant candidates.

Objectives: To validate the applicability of MELD[1] in Israel.

Methods: All candidates awaiting liver transplantation in our institution were followed prospectively since 2002. We measured the concordance (c-statistic) equivalent to the area under the receiver operating characteristic curve in order to assess the predictive power of MELD. Other independent mortality risk factors were identified by a separate multivariate analysis. Mortality rates within different MELD and Child‑Pugh‑Turcotte scores were compared to the original (United States) MELD data.

Results: Of 86 patients listed for transplantation, 40 were transplanted (36 in Israel and 4 abroad). Of the other 46 patients, 24 are alive and still listed, and 22 died (25%, ~7%/year). The area under the ROC[2] curve for MELD score was 0.79 (0.83 USA) compared to a CPT[3] score of 0.71 (O.76 USA). High MELD scores, occurrence of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, and diagnosis of hepatocellular carcinoma were independent risk factors of mortality. Death rates per mid MELD score (20–29) were significantly higher than the USA results.

Conclusions: MELD is valid in Israel and superior to CPT in predicting waiting list mortality. Although longer waiting time due to organ scarcity is a key factor, death rates in the mid-range (10–29) MELD groups indicate further audit of the care of patients with end‑stage liver disease.

[1] MELD = model for end-stage liver disease

[2] ROC = receiver operating characteristic

[3] CPT = Child‑Pugh‑Turcotte

June 2006
A. Ekka-Zohar, Y. Zitser-Gurevich, M. Mandel, I. Weiss-Salz, S. Nir, E. Mor, R. Nakash, H. Merhav, R. Bruck and E. Simchen
Background: There is a dearth of organs for liver transplantation in Israel. Enhancing our understanding of factors affecting graft survival in this country could help optimize the results of the transplant operation.

Objectives: To report 3 years national experience with orthotopic liver transplantation, and to evaluate patient and perioperative risk factors that could affect 1 year graft survival.

Methods: The study related to all 124 isolated adult liver transplantations performed in Israel between October 1997 and October 2000. Data were abstracted from the medical records. One-year graft survival was described using the Kaplan-Meier survival curve and three multivariate logistic regression models were performed: one with preoperative case-mix factors alone, and the other two with the addition of donor and operative factors respectively.

Results: Of the 124 liver transplantations performed, 32 failed (25.8%). The 1 year survival was lower than rates reported from both the United States and Europe, but the difference was not significant. Of the preoperative risk factors, recipient age ≥ 60 years, critical condition prior to surgery, high serum bilirubin and serum hemoglobin ≤ 10 g/dl were independently associated with graft failure, adjusting for all the other factors that entered the logistic regression equation. Extending the model to include donor and operative factors raised the C-statistic from 0.79 to 0.87. Donor age ≥ 40, cold ischemic time > 10 hours and a prolonged operation (> 10 hours) were the additional predictors for graft survival. A MELD score of over 18 was associated with a sixfold increased risk for graft failure (odds ratio = 6.5, P = 0.001).

Conclusions: Graft survival in Israel is slightly lower than that reported from the U.S. and Europe. Adding donor and operative factors to recipient characteristics significantly increased our understanding of 1 year survival of liver grafts.

March 2005
M. Ben-Haim, M. Carmiel, N. Lubezky, R. Keidar, P. Katz, A. Blachar, A. Nomrod, P. Sorkine, R. Oren, J.M. Klausner and R. Nakache
Background: Adult-to-adult living donor liver transplantation is becoming an alternative to cadaveric transplantation in urgent and elective settings. Donor selection crucially affects donor safety and recipient outcome.

Objective: To present our algorithm of urgent and elective donor selection.

Methods: Urgent selection is expeditious and protocol‑based. Elective selection permits a comprehensive process. Both include medical, psychosocial and surgical-anatomic evaluations. Liver volumes and vascular anatomy are evaluated with computerized tomographic angiography. Informed consent is obtained after painstaking explanations. Independent institutional committees review and approve all cases.

Results: Between July 2003 and June 2004 we evaluated 43 potential live donors for 12 potential recipients (fulminant hepatic failure, n=5; chronic end-stage liver disease, n=6); primary graft non-function, n=1). Thirty-three candidates (76%) were excluded due to blood type incompatibility (n=14, 42%), incompatible anatomy (n=8, 24%) – including problematic volume distribution (n=2) or vascular anatomy (n=6) – psychosocial issues (n=4, 12%), or medical co-morbidity (n=7, 22%). Five recipients (FHF[1], n=4; chronic ESLD[2], n=1) were successfully transplanted from living donors. In the acute setting, two patients (FHF, PGNF[3]) died in the absence of an appropriate donor (cadaveric or living donor). In the elective group, one patient died of unexpected variceal bleeding and one received a cadaveric graft just before the planned living donor transplantation was performed. One candidate was transplanted overseas and two cases are scheduled. The ratio of compatibility for donation was 34% (10/29) for blood type-compatible candidates.

Conclusions: Donor selection for living donor liver transplantation is a complex, labor-intensive multidisciplinary process. Most exclusions are due to blood type incompatibility or anatomic details. Psychosocial aspects of these donations warrant special attention.


[1] FHF = fulminant hepatic failure

[2] ESLD = chronic end-stage liver disease

[3] PGNF = primary graft non-function

August 2004
N. Lubezky, R. Nakache, M. Carmiel, R. Oren, P. Sorkin, J. Klausner and M. Ben-Haim

Background: The prognosis of patients with fulminant hepatic failure without timely liver transplantation is dismal. Given the limited availability of cadaveric organs for urgent transplantation in Israel, adult-to-adult living-donor segmental liver transplantation may be the only alternative.

Objectives: To report our initial experience with urgent lifesaving LDLT[1] in this unique scenario.

Methods: Three adult patients with FHF[2] (two of unknown etiology, one with paracetamol intoxication) were transferred from other institutions and admitted to our intensive care unit. Initial treatment and monitoring included intracranial pressure monitoring and hepatic dialysis using the Molecular Adsorbent Recirculating System. Expeditious potential donor selection included medical, psychosocial and surgical evaluation. Liver volume and vascular anatomic compatibility were assessed with computed tomography angiography.

Results: Between July and October 2003 we performed three procedures of urgent adult-to-adult LDLT. The donors (two uncles, one sister) underwent hepatic resection (two right lobes, one left lateral segment) and recovered well. The recipients underwent total hepatectomy with caval preservation, followed by lobar grafting. All recipients recovered and are alive with good liver function and without any neurologic complications.

Conclusions: Urgent adult-to-adult living-donor segmental liver transplantation can be performed safely and timely as a lifesaving procedure in the setting of comatose patients with FHF.

[1] LDLT = living-donor liver transplantation

[2] FHF = fulminant hepatic failure

December 2002
Gilles Morali MD1, Rifaat Safadi MD, Orit Pappo MD, Oded Jurim MD and Daniel Shouval MD
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