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Liver, Kidney Transplant Best for Dual-Organ Disease

Findings also hold for certain patients with hepatorenal syndrome

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Combined liver and kidney transplant benefits patients with dual-organ disease, including those with hepatorenal syndrome who have been receiving dialysis for more than two months, according to a study in the August issue of Archives of Surgery.

Richard Ruiz, M.D., of the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues reviewed data from 98 patients who underwent 99 combined liver and kidney transplants at one academic medical facility from 1988 to 2004. Of the 99 combined transplant patients, 31 had died at the end of the analysis. One-year survival was 76 percent, three-year survival was 72 percent, and five-year survival rates were 70 percent. Among those who underwent kidney transplants only, 23 percent of the kidneys were rejected by the recipient's body after one year, compared with 14 percent of those who had liver-kidney transplants.

Hepatorenal syndrome patients who were undergoing dialysis for longer than eight weeks before surgery did better after the combined transplant, compared with those patients who received only liver transplants.

"Combined kidney and liver transplantation offers the best option for patients with simultaneous chronic liver and kidney failure when it is performed at a high-volume academic transplant center," the study authors concluded.

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