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Forum Name: Liver Diseases

Question: Gilbert's Sydrome - still be a candidate to donate a liver?


 mountainclimber - Sat Oct 31, 2009 7:13 pm

My mother has Cirrhosis of the Liver and I would like to donate part of my liver so that she has more of a chance of survival. I have Gilbert's Syndrome (mild, harmless liver condition). Please tell me if I could still be a candidate to donate part of my liver. Thank you.
 Dr.M.Aroon kamath - Sat Nov 14, 2009 10:53 pm

User avatar Hu,
Firstly let me appreciate your motivation.Assuming that your mother has been cleared as a potential recipient for a liver transplant, let us recall a few known facts.....

Augustine Gilbert and Pierre Lereboullet first described Gilbert syndrome in 1901(an autosomal recessive condition).
Thought to be most common inherited cause of unconjugated hyperbilirubinemia.
This condition appears to affect about 5-10% of the population (you can surely imagine how many of those might have volunteered to donate a liver!).Therefore, studies on liver donors(with Gilbert's syndrome) are understandably scarce.


The first documented kidney transplant in the United States was performed June 17, 1950(Illinois,USA) and The first human liver transplant was performed in 1963 in USA(Denver, Colorado).Thus, follow-up studies following liver transplants (both on the donor and the recipient) are understandably less than in the case of kidney transplants.

People with Gilbert's syndrome have been shown to have a decreased risk of (1/3 the risk for both coronary heart disease and cardiovascular disease)-Those with mildly elevated levels of bilirubin (1.1 mg/dl to 2.7 mg/dl) were at a lower risk.How much of this benefit would pass onto the recipient is not known!.

People with Gilbert's syndrome may lack other enzymes in their livers as well. A subset of people with Gilbert's may have an increased risk of paracetamol toxicity.
How the transplanted liver from a donor with Gilbert's would react to the various drugs normally administered following a liver transplant is also not fully known.

Criteria for donor selection include 'absolute' and 'relative' contraindications.Protocols for Donor (and recipient) selection may vary between institutions.Especially regarding potential donor with Gilbert's(to the best of my knowledge),protocols may be all the more variable. Best wishes!

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