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Transplantation. 2001 Aug 27;72(4):679-84.

Liver transplantation in patients over sixty years of age.

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  • 1Liver Unit, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, United Kingdom.



Although some centers have reported very good patient and graft survival in liver allograft recipients, reports from both North America (United Network of Organ Sharing) and Europe (European Liver Transplantation Registry) have failed to confirm this.


We have reviewed our experience of liver transplantation in older recipients and compared their clinical outcome to a younger group.


Retrospective analyses were conducted on 875 consecutive adult patients undergoing liver transplantation for chronic liver disease, between 1990 and 1999. Group I consisted of patients under 60 years of age (n=701; 80.2%) and group II of patients over 60 years (n=174; 19.8%).


The proportion of older patients transplanted increased from 10.15% between 1990-1991 to 20.85% (1997-1999). Actuarial graft survival at 1, 3, and 5 years was 78%, 74%, and 69% and 78%, 73%, and 66% for groups I and II, respectively (P=0.49). The overall actuarial patient survival tended to be better in the younger group (1-, 3-, and 5-year survival of 83%, 79%, and 76% for group I and 81%, 75%, and 69% for group II (P=0.07). Crude mortality probability shows a stable trend until 45 years, a gradual increase in mortality between 45 and 60 years, and then the risk of death is accelerated. The same analysis shows the risk of death is between 1.5 and 2 times greater in Child C patients; this is greater in patients aged more than 66 years.


There is no statistically significant difference in patient or graft survival in patients aged over 60 compared to younger recipients. However, when age is assessed as a continuous variable, an adverse effect of older age is seen on outcome and this effect is more marked in sicker patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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