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Liver Transplant Selection & Referral Criteria

Doctor explaining liver transplant criteria to patientTampa General Hospital’s Liver Transplant Program has liver transplant criteria that patients must meet in order to be considered for evaluation. For instance, patients must have been diagnosed with liver disease resulting in a high risk of mortality or morbidity and have a life expectancy of less than 24 months. Patients must also have complications that cannot be reversed by non-transplant means, and must have attempted and failed all other medical and surgical options short of a transplant. Patients who meet these liver transplant criteria must be referred to TGH’s Liver Transplant Program by a physician or gastroenterologist, who is required to complete a liver transplant referral form.
Once a patient’s physician-completed referral form is received, TGH’s liver transplant team will conduct an initial review and determine if the patient needs to come in for further evaluation. If so, once the evaluation is complete, the patient’s information will be reviewed by our Liver Transplant Program Medical Review Board, which will ultimately determine whether the patient will be placed on the liver transplant list or if other forms of treatment would be more appropriate.
liver referral form buttonThere are several types of liver disease that may warrant a referral. They include, but are not limited to:
  • Hepatocellular diseases
  • Cholestatic diseases
  • Primary hepatic tumors
  • Inborn errors of metabolism
  • Vascular diseases of the liver
  • Fulminant liver failure
Patients who have been diagnosed with intrinsic renal disease or have severe hepato-renal syndrome and require extended renal replacement therapy may be eligible to receive a combined liver / kidney transplant, provided selection criteria for both specific organ transplant programs are met. Additionally, patients with primary graft dysfunction or early hepatic artery thrombosis will be re-transplanted per current UNOS policy, while patients requiring another liver transplant due to recurrent cirrhosis or other medical complications will be considered for transplant on an individual basis, and only if current liver transplant selection criteria is met and past medical compliance has been demonstrated.
While there are specific liver transplant criteria that all patients must meet in order to be placed on the liver transplant list, there are also several contraindications that can preclude individuals from being admitted to our program and listed for transplant. These contraindications include:
  • Age lower than 16
  • Active infections
  • Active alcohol or drug abuse – refer to the Alcohol and Drug Policy for explanations
  • Advanced cardiovascular disease
  • AIDS or HIV-positive diagnosis
  • Mental illness, including schizophrenia and psychosis
  • Extra-hepatic malignancy
  • Inadequate finances
  • Inadequate social support
  • A history of noncompliance for medical appointments, medical advice, and/or medical regimens
  • Obesity
  • Hip or vertebral fractures
  • Moderate to severe pulmonary hypertension
  • Multiple medical co-morbidities

For more information about our liver transplant qualifications, please call Tampa General Hospital’s Liver Transplant Program at 1-800-505-7769 (press 4 for the liver transplant program and ask for the referral coordinator), or call the  coordinator directly at (813) 844-8686.