The UCSF Liver Disease and Liver Transplant Clinic
Last week, both BIE teams visited the UCSF Liver Disease Clinic. Our host for this visit was Dr. Danielle Brandman, an Assistant Professor of Medicine in hepatology who specializes in treating liver transplant candidates.
During our visit, Dr. Brandman gave a presentation on liver disease including its causes, complications, evaluation, treatment, and epidemiology. The liver plays many vital roles in the body including detoxifying drugs, storing vitamins, and producing albumin. Because of the liver’s wide range of functions, there is still no device that has been able to functionally replace it for patients with liver disease, as dialysis has for kidney disease. Thus, the only option for some patients with end-stage liver disease is a liver transplant.
Dr. Brandman also explained how MELD (Model for End-Stage Liver Disease) scores are used to determine a patient’s priority on the liver transplant waiting list and how incorporating sodium into the score has made it a better predictor of survival in patients with cirrhosis awaiting transplantation. However, people on the waiting list die every day, so there is still a massive need for more effective non-surgical methods to treat liver disease.
Finally, Dr. Brandman gave us a tour of the endoscopy rooms, the intensive care unit, and the liver transplant clinic. For more information about UCSF’s Liver Disease and Liver Transplant Clinic, please visit https://www.ucsfhealth.org/clinics/liver_disease_and_liver_transplant/.