There is a lack of universally accepted clinical parameters to guide the utilization of donation after cardiac death (DCD) donor livers and it is unclear as to which patients would benefit most from these organs. We reviewed our experience in 141 patients who underwent liver transplantation using DCD allografts from 1993 to 2007. Patient outcomes were analyzed in comparison to a matched cohort of 282 patients who received livers from donation after brain death (DBD) donors. Patient survival was similar, but 1-, 5- and 10-year graft survival was significantly lower in DCD (69%, 56%, 44%) versus DBD (82%, 73%, 63%) subjects (p < 0.0001). Primary nonfunction and biliary complications were more common in DCD patients, accounting for 67% of early graft failures. A donor warm ischemia time >20 min, cold ischemia time >8 h and donor age >60 were associated with poorer DCD outcomes. There was a lack of survival benefit in DCD livers utilized in patients with model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) ≤30 or those not on organ-perfusion support, as graft survival was significantly lower compared to DBD patients. However, DCD and DBD subjects transplanted with MELD >30 or on organ-perfusion support had similar graft survival, suggesting a potentially greater benefit of DCD livers in critically ill patients.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Immunology and Allergy
- Pharmacology (medical)