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Transplant Proc. 2006 Oct;38(8):2468-70.

Influence of degree of hepatic steatosis on graft function and postoperative complications of liver transplantation.

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Unit of HBP Surgery and Liver Transplantation, H. R. Carlos Haya, Malaga, Spain.


The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact on initial graft function of the degree of steatosis detected in the back-table biopsy, and its repercussion on the clinical results of the transplant (early posttransplant mortality and morbidity). We undertook a retrospective analysis of 300 liver transplants performed at our center from 1997 to 2004. A wedge liver biopsy was done routinely during back-table surgery (available in 294 transplants). The degree of steatosis was classified as: S0-no steatosis, 201 transplants; S1-mild steatosis (<30%), 58 transplants; S2-moderate steatosis (30% to 60%), 18 transplants; and S3-severe steatosis (>60%), 17 transplants. The ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) injury, based on the maximum mean peak aspartate transferase in the first 72 posttransplant hours, tended to be greater as the degree of graft steatosis increased: S0, 1316; S1, 1985; S2, 2446; and S3, 2955 (P < .005 between S0 and S3). This greater initial hepatic dysfunction was correlated in the group with severe steatosis with a higher rate of severe renal failure requiring hemofiltration/hemodialysis: S0, 9%; S1, 15%; S2, 11%; and S3, 41% (P < .001); as well as with a higher early mortality (90 days): S0, 10%; S1, 21%; S2, 11%; and S3, 41% (P < .001). The Kaplan-Meier survival curve showed a significant difference (log-rank and Breslow) between the group with severe steatosis and the group with no steatosis (P = .002). We conclude that the degree of liver graft steatosis is an important determinant of I/R injury, although this progressive increase in the I/R injury with the degree of steatosis only had clinical repercussions in the case of severe steatosis.

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