Background Patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) cirrhosis have excellent postliver transplant survival despite having many comorbidities. We hypothesized that this could be due to a selection bias. Methods We analyzed the United Network for Organ Sharing data from 2002 to 2016 and compared postliver transplant survival of NASH (n = 7935) patients with cryptogenic cirrhosis (CC) (n = 6087), alcoholic cirrhosis (AC) (n = 16 810), and autoimmune hepatitis cirrhosis (AIH) (n = 2734). Results By 3 years of listing, the cumulative incidence (CI) of death or deterioration was 29% for NASH, 28% for CC and AC, and 24% for AIH, but when adjusted for risk factors, the CI was similar for NASH and AIH. The factors that increased the risk of waiting list removal due to death/deterioration were poor performance status, encephalopathy, diabetes, high Model for End-stage Liver Disease, Hispanic race, older age and a low serum albumin. Most patients were transplanted within the first year (median, 2 months; interquartile range, 1-7 months) of listing and by 5 years, the unadjusted CI of transplantation was 54% for NASH, 52% for CC, 51% for AIH, and 48% for AC. The adjusted CI of transplantation within 2 months of listing was higher for AC (subhazard ratio [SHR], 1.17), AIH (SHR, 1.17), and CC (SHR, 1.13) when compared with NASH, but after 2 months, adjusted transplantation rates decreased in AC (SHR, 0.6), AIH (SHR, 0.78), and CC (SHR, 0.95). The negative predictors of receiving a transplant were dialysis, female sex, nonwhite race, high albumin, and creatinine. Conclusions Patients with NASH cirrhosis are not disadvantaged by higher waitlist removal or lower transplantation rates.
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