Indications for Transplant

Criteria have been established to help determine if a patient is a candidate for transplantation. The criteria explain the reason for inclusion in, or exclusion from, liver transplantation.


Criteria for liver transplantation:

  • Patients must have chronic irreversible liver disease that has not responded to other medical or surgical treatments.
  • Patients with certain types and stages of liver cancer are considered for transplantation on a case-by-case basis.
  • Patients with acute fulminant hepatic failure are considered for transplantation if it is determined they will not recover without a transplant.
  • Patients must qualify for and be able to tolerate major surgery.
  • Patients and their family members/support system must be able to understand the risks and benefits of transplantation, including the long-term need for close medical follow-up and life-long need for anti-rejection therapy.
  • Patients/families must be able to accept the responsibility to be involved in the long-term care required after transplantation, including the financial responsibilities.


Factors and considerations that may result in exclusion from transplantation include:

  • The presence of some other life-threatening disease or condition that would not improve with transplantation. This would include certain cancers, infections that cannot be treated or cured or significant brain damage that is not thought to be reversible.
  • History of chronic noncompliance including, but not limited to, medical treatments, medications or other behaviors that would affect the patients' ability to fully care for themselves after transplantation.
  • History of chronic and ongoing drug and/or alcohol abuse that cannot be successfully treated before transplantation, putting patients at risk for continued harmful behavior after transplantation.
  • History of serious psychiatric disorders that cannot be successfully treated before transplantation, and that would be considered a high risk for ongoing or increased severity of the psychiatric disorder after transplantation.
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