The course of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) after liver transplantation (LT) for primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is complex, with several IBD-, PSC-, and transplant-related factors interplaying with each other. Approximately one-third of patients with known IBD improve, and one-third paradoxically worsen, after LT for PSC. Active IBD, discontinuation of 5-aminosalicylates (5-ASA) at time of LT and tacrolimus-based immunosuppression may be associated with an unfavorable course of IBD after LT. Approximately 14-30% patients with PSC may develop de novo IBD 10 years after LT. LT confers a high risk of pouchitis after ileal pouch-anal anastomosis, although it may not be higher than baseline rates for PSC patients. The risk of colorectal cancer continues to be high after LT for PSC, and is higher in this cohort of patients with PSC-IBD, compared with patients undergoing LT for other indications. IBD does not adversely affect patient survival after LT, although the risk of recurrent PSC in the allograft may be higher in patients with IBD and an intact colon at time of LT. Standard therapy with 5-ASA and/or azathioprine may be appropriate for treatment of active IBD after LT and maintenance of remission. Anti-tumor necrosis factor-α agents are effective, but should be used with caution because of high risk of adverse events. The management of IBD after LT requires close coordination between transplant hepatologists and IBD experts.
ASJC Scopus subject areas