Overview of dermatologic problems following liver transplantation

Dufour, Jean-François; Oberholzer, Patrick A. (2013). Overview of dermatologic problems following liver transplantation. In: UpToDate (Online). Wolters Kluwer

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Liver transplantation recipients, like other solid organ transplantation recipients, have an increased risk of dermatologic problems due to their long-term immunosuppression and benefit from pre-and post-transplantation screenings, and management by a dermatologist and dermatologic care should be integrated into the comprehensive, multidisciplinary care of liver transplantation recipients [1,2]. Cutaneous findings include aesthetic alterations, infections, precancerous lesions, and malignancies. The severity of skin alterations ranges from benign, unpleasant changes to life-threatening conditions [3-5]. In addition to skin cancer diagnosis and management, visits with a dermatologist serve to educate and improve the patient's sun-protection behavior.

Among all solid organ transplantations, liver transplantation requires the least amount of immunosuppression, sometimes even permitting its complete cessation [6]. As a result, patients who have undergone liver transplantation tend to have fewer dermatologic complications compared with other solid organ transplantation recipients [7]. However, due to the large volume of the liver, patients undergoing liver transplantation receive more donor lymphocytes than kidney, heart, or lung transplantation recipients. Because of the immunosuppression, the transplanted lymphocytes proliferate and rarely trigger graft-versus-host-disease [8,9].

This topic will provide an overview of dermatologic disorders that may be seen following liver transplantation. A detailed discussion of skin cancer following solid organ transplantation and the general management of patients following liver transplantation are discussed separately. (See "Development of malignancy following solid organ transplantation" and "Management of skin cancer in solid organ transplant recipients" and "Long-term management of adult liver transplant recipients".)

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Dermatology, Urology, Rheumatology, Nephrology, Osteoporosis (DURN) > Clinic of Dermatology

UniBE Contributor:

Oberholzer, Patrick Antony


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health


Wolters Kluwer




Monika Schenk

Date Deposited:

16 Jun 2014 14:19

Last Modified:

08 Sep 2017 14:39





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