Liver transplantation results in hepatic denervation. This may produce alterations of liver energy and substrate metabolism, which may contribute to weight gain after liver transplantation.
Prospective clinical study.
Liver transplantation clinics in a university hospital.
Seven nondiabetic patients with cirrhosis were recruited while on a waiting list for liver transplantation. Seven healthy subjects were recruited as controls.
Orthotopic liver transplantation.
Main Outcome Measures
Evaluation of energy and substrate metabolism after ingestion of a glucose load with indirect calorimetry was performed before, 2 to 6 weeks after, and 5 to 19 months after transplantation. Whole-body glucose oxidation and storage and glucose-induced thermogenesis were calculated.
Patients with cirrhosis had modestly elevated resting energy expenditure and normal glucose-induced thermogenesis and postprandial glucose oxidation and storage. These measures remained unchanged after liver transplantation despite a significant increase in postprandial glycemia. Patients, however, gained an average of 3 kg of body weight after 5 to 19 months compared with their weight before transplantation.
Liver denervation secondary to transplantation does not lead to alterations of energy metabolism after ingestion of a glucose load.