During the last 5 years, liver transplantation has become a service as opposed to an experimental operation. The most important factor in making this possible has been the introduction of cyclosporine-steroid therapy. At the same time, liver transplantation has been made more practical by improvements in diagnosing and managing other causes of postoperative hepatic dysfunction. Tissue typing and matching have played no role in improving the results of liver transplantation. With the demonstration that performed antibody states are irrelevant, even avoidance of positive cross-matches caused by cytotoxic antibodies and observance of ABO blood group barriers have become unnecessary if the recipient's needs are great. With the exceptions of malignancy and cirrhosis, the nature of the underlying hepatic disease has not profoundly influenced the results. Retransplantation has played an important role in improving survival, although the costs of retransplantation have been extremely high.
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