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Addiction Consultation Valuable for Liver Transplant Patients

Increased alcohol consumption identified in interviews with addiction specialists vs hepatologists

WEDNESDAY, Dec. 14, 2016 (HealthDay News) — Liver transplantation (LT) patients should undergo addiction consultation to accurately detect alcohol consumption, according to a study published online Dec. 9 in Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research.

Hélène Donnadieu-Rigole, M.D., from Saint-Eloi Hospital in Montpellier, France, and colleagues compared the evaluation of alcohol consumption after LT performed routinely during the transplant consultation or from an addiction consultant in a prospective monocentric study. The alcohol status of 141 patients was assessed using three different scores as patients were seen by a hepatologist, an addiction specialist, and completed the Alcohol Use Disorders Identification Test (AUDIT).

The researchers found that the prevalence of alcohol consumption varied according to the source and was identified in 21.9 percent of patients by the hepatologist, 36.8 percent using the AUDIT questionnaire, and 41.1 percent by the addiction specialist. The patients identified by the hepatologist reported an average of 6.5-alcohol units/week to the transplant specialist; when they were interviewed by the addiction specialist this number increased significantly to 8.6-units/week (P = 0.001).

“This study highlights the interest of a systematic addiction consultation among liver transplant patients, whatever the cause of transplantation,” the authors write.

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