Liver Transplantation in Transthyretin Amyloidosis: Issues and Challenges

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Hereditary transthyretin amyloidosis (ATTR) is a rare worldwide autosomal dominant disease caused by the systemic deposition of an amyloidogenic variant of transthyretin (TTR), which is usually derived from a single amino acid substitution in the TTR gene. More than 100 mutations have been described, with V30M being the most prevalent. Each variant has a different involvement, although peripheral neuropathy and cardiomyopathy are the most common. Orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) was implemented as the inaugural disease-modifying therapy because the liver produces the circulating unstable TTR. In this review, we focus on the results and long-term outcomes of OLT for ATTR after more than 2063 procedures and 23 years of experience. After successful OLT, neuropathy and organ impairment are not usually reversed, and in some cases, the disease progresses. The overall 5-year survival rate is approximately 100% for V30M patients and 59% for non-ATTR V30M patients. Cardiac-related death and septicemia are the main causes of mortality. Lower survival is related to malnutrition, a longer duration of disease, cardiomyopathy, and a later onset (particularly for males). Deposits, which are composed of a mixture of truncated and full-length TTR (type A) fibrils, have been associated with posttransplant myocardial dysfunction. A higher incidence of early hepatic artery thrombosis of the graft has also been documented for these patients. Liver-kidney/heart transplantation is an alternative for patients with advanced renal disease or heart failure. The sequential procedure, in which ATTR livers are reused in patients with liver disease, reveals that neuropathy in the recipient may appear as soon as 6 years after OLT, and ATTR deposits may appear even earlier. Long-term results of trials with amyloid protein stabilizers or disrupters, silencing RNA, and antisense oligonucleotides will highlight the value and limitations of liver transplantation. Liver Transpl 21:282–292, 2015. © 2015 AASLD.

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