1. Lifelong monitoring of graft function, immunosuppressive levels, and screening for drug toxicity is required in all liver recipients. 2. Late hepatic allograft dysfunction is common and is caused by a variety of etiologies including rejection, infection, biliary/vascular abnormalities, recurrence of disease, and drug hepatotoxicity. 3. In all patients with late hepatic allograft dysfunction, liver biopsy should be performed to assess for the presence of rejection, and to thus avoid excessive use of bolus corticosteroid therapy and guide appropriate immunosuppressive management. 4. Recurrence of disease is the most common cause of late hepatic allograft dysfunction. 5. Hepatitis C universally reinfects the hepatic allograft, and is associated with decreased patient and graft survival and leads to the recurrence of cirrhosis in 28% of patients within 5 years of transplantation. 6. Major advances have been made in preventing recurrence of hepatitis B by the use of hepatitis B immune globulin in combination with lamivudine therapy. 7. Autoimmune liver diseases such as primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and autoimmune hepatitis have a recurrence rate of approximately 20% to 30%. 8. In patients developing recurrence of autoimmune hepatitis, steroid withdrawal is the most common cause. 9. Recurrent hepatocellular cancer can be markedly reduced if strict guidelines are adhered to in selecting patients. 10. Drug hepatotoxicity must always be considered in the differential diagnosis of late hepatic allograft dysfunction.
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