Liver transplantation

For patients with end-stage liver disease liver transplantation is the only curative treatment. Patients with liver cirrhosis caused by for example viral hepatitis, auto-immune liver diseases (AIH/PSC/PBC) or alcohol, patients with hepatocellular carcinoma or perihilar cholangiocarcinoma and patients with acute liver failure can be eligible for liver transplantation. The outcomes of liver transplantation have improved over the past decades with a current 1 year survival >90% and a 10 year survival >60%.

The Erasmus MC has the largest liver transplantation program in the Netherlands, where on average 85 liver transplantations are performed each year and yearly 130 patients are screened for liver transplantation. Since 2019 the Erasmus MC started a living donation liver transplantation program next to the orthotopic (or post mortal) liver transplantation. The addition of the living donor livertransplantation program and the developments in the field of machine perfusion will lead to a continuous growth of our program in the coming years.  

There is an active participation in the NTV/NTS (Dutch transplantation Society) and regular meetings with the other transplant centers in the LOL (National Liver transplantation Counsel) were results are evaluated and guidelines are written and updated.

With the growth of the liver transplantation program not only the clinical experience has increased, there is extensive research experience as well. The research varies from basal science to clinical research though over the years the focus has gone more and more on clinical research. Main focus is on optimization of the outcomes in liver transplantation, by performing studies on optimization of immunosuppression and recurrence of liver disease and recently the addition of focus on Acute on Chronic Liver Failure.

Apart from industry-initiated studies on the effectiveness of new immunosuppression regimes, we initiate and contribute to investigator initiated studies in the field of optimizing current immunosuppression and prevention of long-term complications after liver transplantation. Furthermore there is focus on the optimizing the indication and selection of liver transplantation patients and optimizing their long term outcomes.