Psychiatric aspects of hepatic transplantation

TitlePsychiatric aspects of hepatic transplantation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1983
AuthorsHouse R, Dubovsky SL, Penn I
Pagination146 - 50
Date PublishedAug
Accession Number6349038
Keywords*Liver Transplantation, Adolescent, Adult, Anxiety, Child, Child, Preschool, Comparative Study, Delirium, Dementia, Amnestic, Cognitive Disorders / etiology, Depression / etiology, Female, Humans, Infant, Kidney Transplantation, Male, Postoperative Period, Regression (Psychology), Transplantation / *psychology

We conducted formal psychiatric evaluations and extensive chart reviews in a series of 34 patients surviving an average of 5 1/4 years after hepatic transplantation. Seven of 14 children and 19 of 20 adults exhibited obvious psychiatric disturbances before the operation. (There was not time to evaluate another 5 children and a sixth was an infant; one adult arrived in hepatic coma.) All patients experienced psychiatric problems postoperatively. Organic brain syndromes and apprehensiveness were the most common preoperative problems in pediatric patients, and problems in relationships with family members, anxiety, regression, and helplessness were most common after surgery. In adults, organic brain syndromes, anxiety, and depression were the most common preoperative and postoperative problems. While psychosocial disturbances in liver transplant recipients were similar in many respects to those of the more well-studied kidney homograft patients, a number of important differences emerged: organic brain syndromes, fear of death, severe regression (psychological functioning appropriate to a younger age), worries that a suitable donor would not be found in time, and insomnia were more common, and concerns about the origin of the homograft and about changes in body image were relatively rare postoperatively. These differences seem to be related to the severity of liver disease requiring transplantation, the effects of the illness on the brain, the lack of an alternative means of life support resulting in greater prominence of concerns about survival, the exclusive use of cadaver rather than living donors, and the greater effect of the illness than of its treatment on physical appearance.

Notify Library Reference ID696

Related Incidents