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Arch Surg. 2011 Sep;146(9):1017-23. doi: 10.1001/archsurg.2011.240.

Liver transplantation using organ donation after cardiac death: a clinical predictive index for graft failure-free survival.

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Dumont-UCLA Liver Cancer Center, Pfleger Liver Institute, Department of Surgery, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA 90095-7054, USA.



To define a prognostic scoring system for risk stratification of patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) using grafts from donation after cardiac death (DCD).


Retrospective study.


University transplant center.


Eighty-one patients underwent OLT using DCD grafts from March 1, 1994, to November 30, 2010. The mean follow-up was 2 years. Independent risk factors for graft failure after OLT were identified using Cox model and assigned risk score points. Points were summed and assigned to predictive index categories: 0 or 1 for low risk, 2 to 4 for intermediate risk, and 5 to 9 for high risk.


Six multivariate factors predictive for graft failure after OLT using DCD grafts included the following: for recipients, (1) diagnosis of hepatitis C virus with malignancy, non-hepatitis C virus with malignancy, or hepatitis C virus only, (2) previous OLT, and (3) body mass index (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) greater than 30; for donors, (4) hepatitis B core antibody positivity and (5) mean arterial pressure lower than 60 mm Hg for longer than 20 minutes after withdrawal of life support; and for grafts, (6) cold ischemia time longer than 6 hours. Five-year graft failure-free survival was significantly higher for the low-risk group (83%) compared with the intermediate-risk (62%) and high-risk (0%) groups (P < .001). Overall biliary complications occurred in 24 patients (29%), with ischemic cholangiopathy in 8 patients (9.9%).


Our study showed superior long-term patient survival with liver transplantation using DCD organs in highly selected donors and recipients. We propose a practical risk stratification system highly predictive of long-term survival outcomes after OLT using DCD grafts. Application of this predictive index for transplant candidates receiving DCD liver grafts would improve patients' outcomes and optimize use of scarce resources.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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