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Transplant Candidacy & Procedures

Patients who are approved for liver transplant evaluation at UNC will be assigned a Transplant Coordinator, who helps with all aspects of pre-transplant care including education, medications, laboratory and other testing, as well as hospital admissions during all phases of the transplant process.

Potential liver transplant patients are followed on an ongoing basis in the Pre-Transplant Clinic by our hepatologists (liver specialists). Care is coordinated with the referring physician to ensure that the patient remains viable for transplant, with any intervening illnesses and complications handled in a timely manner.

Liver transplant may be indicated for adults with a variety of diseases, including:

  • Hepatitis C or B viral infections
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Hemochromatosis
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Auto-immune hepatitis
  • Fulminant or acute liver failure
  • Cirrhosis (due to past alcohol use)

Liver transplants may be indicated for children with congenital conditions that include:

  • Biliary atresia
  • Auto-immune hepatitis
  • Hepatitis/fulminant failure
  • Cryptogenic cirrhosis
  • Metabolic diseases
  • Alagille’s syndrome
  • Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency

Priority and urgency for transplant is primarily dictated by degree of liver failure, based on clinical parameters and lab studies. Patients with liver cancer or those with unique liver-related disorders may qualify for higher priority for transplant.

Transplant candidates at UNC are listed with the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), which operates the national Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN).