Acute liver allograft rejection—is treatment always necessary?

Bertrand Dousset, Stefan G. Hubscher, Robert T.A. Padbury, Bridget K. Gunson, John A.C. Buckels, Anthony D. Mayer, Elwyn Elias, Paul McMaster, James M. Neuberger

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

79 Citations (Scopus)


A group of 195 consecutive adult patients who received a primary orthotopic liver allograft were reviewed retrospectively to analyze the incidence of rejection, the response to antirejection therapy, and the impact of acute rejection on the development of ductopenic rejection. The diagnosis of acute rejection (AR) was based on a combination of clinical and histological criteria, and 69.7% of the patients had at least one episode of acute rejection. Only 6.7% of the patients failed to respond to steroids and were treated with OKT3. Four (2.3%) patients developed acute vanishing bile duct syndrome (within 60 days) and 6 (3.5%) patients developed chronic rejection. Eight patients who spontaneously recovered from AR without additional immunosuppression are described in detail. In addition to histological damage, all developed significant hepatic dysfunction. Except for one patient who died from disseminated fungal infection, the 7 remaining patients are alive with excellent graft function 7 to 21 months posttransplant. While severe AR and recurrent AR should be treated without delay, some patients with mild-to-moderate rejection and hepatic dysfunction may resolve without additional immunosuppression.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-534
Number of pages6
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 1993
Externally publishedYes


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