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Clin Transplant. 2009 Aug-Sep;23(4):519-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1399-0012.2009.00987.x. Epub 2009 Apr 17.

Assessment of donor steatosis in liver transplantation: is it possible without liver biopsy?

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Liver and Multiorgan Transplant Unit, University of Bologna, Sant'Orsola-Malpighi Hospital, Bologna, Italy.



Macrovesicular steatosis of the liver is associated with early dysfunction or poor function of the graft after transplantation; however, it can be quantified accurately only through a liver biopsy that sometimes may not be available and whose result is anyway known when the recipient has already been selected. It would, therefore, be helpful to be able to predict the degree of steatosis, on the basis of non-invasive readily available variables.


Data from 374 deceased liver donors from whom a liver biopsy had been taken were analyzed with the receiver operating characteristic area [area under the curve (AUC)] to identify variables that could predict the degree of macrovesicular steatosis classified as: absent to mild (0-30%) and moderate to severe (>30%).


Steatosis was associated significantly with donor age, increased body mass index (BMI), presence of type II diabetes, ultrasonographic features, heavy alcohol consumption, transaminases [aspartate-aminotransferase and alanine-aminotransferase (ALT)], gamma-glutamyl-transpeptidase, and glucose blood levels. The combination of BMI, elevation of ALT, presence of type II diabetes, history of heavy alcohol consumption, and ultrasonography signs of steatosis could identify steatosis >30% accurately with an AUC of 0.86 (95% CI = 0.81-0.91).


Fatty infiltration in liver donors can be estimated based on clinical and biochemical parameters.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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