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Transplant Proc. 2006 May;38(4):1069-73.

The marginal donor: a single-center experience in orthotopic liver transplantation.

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1
Hepatobiliary and Liver Transplant Unit, Cardarelli Hospital, Naples, Italy.

Abstract

The use of marginal donors has become more common worldwide due to the sharp increase in recipients with a consequent shortage of suitable organs. The definition of "marginal donor" has not been reached by all centers. We herein analyzed our single-center experience over the last 3 years in liver transplantation (OLT) to evaluate the outcomes of using a high percentage of so-called "marginal donors", according to the current classification from the National (Italian) Center of Transplantation (CNT). Among the 78 OLT performed in 77 patients from January 1, 2003 to October 31, 2005, donor livers were divided into three groups according to the CNT classification. We evaluated donor variables, cold ischemia time (CIT), warm ischemia time (WIT), MELD score, and length of hospital stay. Histologic graft steatosis was correlated with estimated steatosis by ultrasound. There were no differences among the three graft recipient groups concerning CIT, WIT, MELD score, and the length of hospital stay. Steatosis is indicated in all series as a definite variable for a higher risk of postoperative mortality. CIT is necessarily related to donor retrieval policy and organization. Donor age seemed also to be related to a possible increase in postoperative mortality, but there are significant variations in the definition of the age limit. We failed to observe a correlation between a higher mortality rate and any of the variables currently listed to define a "marginal donor." A shorter CIT seemed to positively influence the role played by the other variables identifying a "marginal liver." Finally, the use of HCV(+) or HBV(+) grafts did not lead to an increased mortality.

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