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Liver Transpl. 2009 Oct;15(10):1288-95. doi: 10.1002/lt.21828.

Recipient age affects long-term outcome and hepatitis C recurrence in old donor livers following transplantation.

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  • 1Division of Multiorgan Transplantation, Department of General Surgery, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


We studied the role of donor and recipient age in transplantation/ischemia-reperfusion injury (TIRI) and short- and long-term graft and patient survival. Eight hundred twenty-two patients underwent deceased donor liver transplantation, with 197 donors being > or = 60 years old. We evaluated markers of reperfusion injury, graft function, and clinical outcomes as well as short- and long-term graft and patient survival. Increased donor age was associated with more severe TIRI and decreased 3- and 5-year graft survival (73% versus 85% and 72% versus 81%, P < 0.001) and patient survival (77% versus 88% and 77% versus 82%, P < 0.003). Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection and recipient age were the only independent risk factors for graft and patient survival in patients receiving an older graft. In the HCV(+) cohort (297 patients), patients > or = 50 years old who were transplanted with an older graft versus a younger graft had significantly decreased 3- and 5-year graft survival (68% versus 83% and 64% versus 83%, P < 0.009). In contrast, HCV(+) patients < 50 years old had similar 3- and 5-year graft survival if transplanted with either a young graft or an old graft (81% versus 82% and 81% versus 82%, P = 0.9). In conclusion, recipient age and HCV status affect the graft and patient survival of older livers. Combining older grafts with older recipients should be avoided, particularly in HCV(+) patients, whereas the effects of donor age can be minimized in younger recipients.

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