Survival and risk of recidivism in methadone-dependent patients undergoing liver transplantation

Lawrence U. Liu, Thomas D. Schiano, Nancy Lau, Marian O'Rourke, Albert D. Min, Samuel H. Sigal, Martin Drooker, Henry C. Bodenheimer

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53 Scopus citations


Cirrhosis resulting from hepatitis C virus is presently the most common indication for liver transplantation (OLT) in the United States. A number of U.S. transplant centers require cirrhotics who are using methadone to discontinue it before proceeding with OLT. We sought to examine the outcomes of those patients who had undergone OLT at the Mount Sinai Medical Center. A retrospective chart review of 36 subjects on methadone maintenance treatment (MMT), and off heroin, at the time of OLT was performed. The median daily methadone dose pre-OLT was 50 mg. Post-OLT, there was an increase in methadone dose in 15 subjects, a decrease in four subjects, and no dose change in 17 subjects. Four subjects had documented single episodes of intravenous drug use post-OLT, only one subject had a dose change after the event. Patient and graft survival rates were comparable to the national average. There was no significant difference in post-OLT outcome in patients on MMT when compared with the general population. The few episodes of drug relapse were not related to changes in the methadone dose. Efforts should be made to allow methadone-using cirrhotics better access to OLT without regard to methadone dosage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1273-1277
Number of pages5
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2003


  • Liver
  • Methadone
  • Transplantation


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