LICAGE: A very active professional group in Europe

  • Issue 60

Alistair Lee | Secretary LICAGE

LICAGE (Liver Intensive Care Group of Europe) was formed in 1987 by Dr. John Farman and a committed group of anaesthetists and intensive care doctors in Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, UK. At that time liver transplantation was in the process of becoming an established treatment, rather than an experimental procedure, following the pioneering work of surgeons Sir Roy Calne in Cambridge and Dr. Thomas Starzl in the US. The aim was to bring together from throughout Europe, workers of all disciplines involved in the perioperative care of liver transplant recipients, to foster communication and collaboration between medical and allied health care disciplines, to stimulate and share advances in the scientific understanding and clinical management of patients requiring liver transplantation.

LICAGE is the only society worldwide dedicated to anaesthesia and intensive care management of patients with severe acute or chronic liver failure, or patients undergoing liver transplantation or liver resection.

LICAGE holds an annual meeting in venues across Europe and we are very pleased to liaise with other clinicians and societies with similar interests worldwide. The more recent development of large liver transplant units in countries in eastern Europe such as Romania has broadened the Society’s horizons.

The current President of the Society is Professor Gianni Biancofiore from Pisa, Italy and the Secretary / Treasurer is Dr. Alistair Lee from Edinburgh, UK.

On September 3rd – 4th 2015 our annual meeting will be in Montpellier, France, and the meeting has an exciting and diverse scientific programme developed by Prof. Catherine Paugam-Burtz, Hopital Beaujon, Clichy, France, one of our LICAGE Council members. The preliminary programme may be viewed on the LICAGE Society website:

Recent LICAGE meetings have been hosted in Pisa, Italy; Valencia, Spain and Essen, Germany. Every few years we have combined our annual meeting with the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS) when it is meeting in Europe, and we did so in London, UK in 2014. During 2014 we collaborated on other medical and surgical society meetings (EASL in London, ELITA in Prague). We focus on providing an excellent scientific content, and always have some interactive sessions that are well received. Our meetings provide an excellent base for networking and developing links with other centres.

Our current Council has an extensive research background relating to many aspects of liver transplantation and liver failure. The management of renal failure, cardiovascular monitoring, metabolic monitoring, intracranial pressure monitoring, therapeutic hypothermia, models of acute liver failure and liver support systems, coagulation and thromboelastography, together with many demographic studies. Many of these topics are relevant to other patient illnesses and medical Societies. This is not surprising as the patient with liver failure is often the sickest patient in the hospital.

Until 2013 we were a relatively informal Society, albeit with a Constitution and Council. During 2013-14 we introduced a small annual subscription for membership and we are still in the early stages of building a subscription based membership. Our current member benefits include significant reductions for LICAGE meeting registrations, potential to take up Council positions, and participation in the developing multicentre activities of the Society.

LICAGE is a Society of like minded individuals dedicated to helping clinicians provide excellent anaesthesia and critical care services for patients with liver disease. We recognise that this is only possible in a multi-disciplinary manner and welcome physicians and surgeons as members and contributors to our meetings and sessions. We have helped currently ongoing, multidisciplinary research projects develop between members through our Society and hope that LICAGE will increasingly prove useful as a platform for fostering these multicentre activities.

We believe that LICAGE would benefit from becoming a Specialist Society of ESA. Our European base, multidisciplinary nature, and diverse interests will be strengthened through interaction with the range of Specialist Societies encompassed by ESA. As examples we have recently contributed to the 25th Meeting of the European Society for Computing and Technology in Anesthesia and Intensive Care (ESCTAIC) meeting in Bucharest, and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease is becoming a common indication for liver transplantation. Many liver transplant anaesthetists already practise bariatric anaesthesia, an increasingly appropriate role, as it is likely that combined liver transplant / bariatric procedures will become more common. We hope that interaction between LICAGE and the ESA parent organisation would be mutually beneficial and as a consequence LICAGE is in the process of discussing this at Council with a view to applying for ESA Specialist Society membership. We hope to see you at a future LICAGE meeting. You will be most welcome.

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