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Transplantation. 2004 Feb 15;77(3):411-6.

A simple scoring system to evaluate the effects of cold ischemia on marginal liver donors.

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  • 1Liver Unit, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK.



Exactly what constitutes a marginal donor remains ill defined. The authors set out to create a scoring system that objectively classifies a donor as marginal or nonmarginal and to define what the maximum acceptable preservation period is for the marginal liver to minimize early graft dysfunction.


The authors performed an analysis on data collected prospectively of 397 cadaveric liver transplants. Both univariate and multivariate analyses were performed on donor, recipient, and perioperative factors with relation to early allograft dysfunction. A score was developed that classified donors into marginal and nonmarginal populations, and the influence of cold ischemia was determined for each group.


Multivariate analysis-determined donor age and steatosis (moderate to severe) were independent predictors of deranged function. This enabled the authors to produce a scoring system to differentiate marginal donors with respect to risk of early allograft dysfunction as follows: Formula=(20.06xsteatosis)+(0.44xdonor age), cutoff 23.1. In the marginal group, the cutoff value of cold ischemia time was 12.6 hr.


The authors developed a scoring system that classified an organ as marginal or nonmarginal depending on the donor age and degree of steatosis. Marginal livers have a strong risk of developing early allograft dysfunction with increasing cold ischemia times and should be transplanted within 12 hr. Cold ischemia time was not found to be an important factor in the development of early allograft dysfunction in nonmarginal donors.

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