Bengaluru: Not all liver failure cases need transplant, says Doctors

The doctors attending her realised that Sudha's liver failure was due to Wilson's disease, which could be treated with medicines.

Bengaluru: In a yet another example of giant strides made in the field of healthcare, two minor girls who were suffering from serious liver problems got cured without transplants.

Eight-year-old Sudha (name changed) was referred to Aster CMI hospital for a liver transplant, as she showed signs of acute liver failure - abdominal swelling due to fluid accumulation, jaundice and coagulopathy (increased risk of bleeding due to thinning of the blood).

The doctors attending her realised that Sudha’s liver failure was due to Wilson’s disease, which could be treated with medicines. Immediately, she was made to undergo a trans-jugular liver biopsy, a special technique to obtain a biopsy from the liver without the risk of bleeding.

Dr Naveen Ganjoo, Consultant-Hepatology, and Liver Transplantation, Aster CMI Hospital said, “This was done in anticipation of worsening of Sudha’s liver disease, which could necessitate an urgent liver transplant. A special test was conducted to ascertain copper level in the tissues and pathological examination of the liver tissue was also done.”

After her treatment for Wilson’s diseases, her live is now functioning normally.

Wilson’s disease, which leads to copper accumulation in tissues, mainly brain and liver, is a genetic disease. Each gene in the body has two parts and everybody inherits one part each from parents. When both parts are abnormal, the individual develops Wilson’s disease.

Another patient, 13-year-old Chetana (name changed), too was referred for a liver transplant. She had developed recurrent jaundice for the first time two years ago and for the second time, 11 months ago.

Initially, her jaundice had subsided after some treatment. However, the second time jaundice was severe and resulted in swelling of feet and abdominal fluid accumulation. She had developed acute chronic liver failure.

Investigations, including a liver biopsy, revealed she was suffering from auto-immune disease, which had severely damaged her liver. Chetana has since recovered.

Dr Rajiv Lochan, Senior Consultant - HPB and Liver Transplant at Aster CMI Hospital, said, “These patients exemplify two points. Firstly, all patients with liver failure do not need a transplant straightaway. Some reversible causes of this condition do occur and they should be looked at. However, this should be done in the setting of a Liver Unit, where an urgent transplant could be carried out if things change in a short period of time.”

The doctors involved in the team included transplant surgeons Dr Rajiv Lochan, Rehan Saif, Dr Jayanth Reddy, Dr Sonal Asthana, and transplant hepatologists Dr Mallikarjun Sakpal, Dr Naveen Ganjoo and Dr Kaiser Raja.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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