Fatigue a lasting problem after liver transplantation

A new study on fatigue experienced by patients after undergoing liver transplantation found that it is a major problem that does not tend to improve with the passage of time. Liver transplant patients experience physical fatigue and reduced activity rather than mental fatigue and reduced motivation.

The results of this study appear in the June 2006 issue of Liver Transplantation, the official journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS). The journal is published on behalf of the societies by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and is available online via Wiley InterScience at http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/livertransplantation.

Although fatigue is common in end-stage liver disease and can even contribute to the need for a liver transplant, few studies have been conducted on fatigue after liver transplants take place. In the current study, researchers led by Rita van den Berg-Emons, Ph.D. of the Department of Rehabilitation Medicine at the Erasmus Medical Center in Rotterdam, The Netherlands, assessed 96 liver transplant patients who visited the hospital's outpatient clinic between February and June 2003. The patients were given a series of self-administered questionnaires: the Fatigue Severity Scale (FSS) measured fatigue severity; the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory (MFI-20) measured the nature of fatigue; two additional questionnaires measured the patients' disability level and their health-related quality of life (HRQoL). In addition, the researchers assessed patients' age, gender, reason for having the transplant, time since the transplant took place, and the number of immunosuppressive agents they were taking.

The results showed that 66 percent of the patients were fatigued, 44 percent were severely fatigued, and there was no indication that fatigue lessened over time. "T

Contact: David Greenberg
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

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