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Indexed/Abstracted in: CAB, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Scopus, Emerging Sources Citation Index
Online ISSN 1827-1642
Jones P. D., Hayashi P. H., Sidney Barritt IV A.
UNC Liver Center, Department of Medicine University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC, USA
Liver transplantation has changed over the past 50 years from an experimental surgery to a life saving intervention that is the treatment of choice for selected patients with end stage liver disease. Since Starzl attempted the first liver transplant in 1963, the procedure has evolved into one that occurs over 12000 times a year worldwide and has one year survival rates approaching 90% and five year survival rates above 70%. With the success of liver transplantation, challenges and controversies have arisen as well. The aim of this review is to discuss the epidemiology of liver transplantation and highlight those challenges and controversies that exist. Current controversies include appropriate selection of recipients and equitable prioritization for allograft distribution. Future challenges include a decrement in donor quality and availability and an ageing medically complex patient and donor population. Addressing these challenges and controversies will dominate transplantation research for the foreseeable future.