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Transplantation. 1990 Feb;49(2):377-81.

The use of older donor livers for hepatic transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University Hospital, London, Ontario, Canada.


The function and outcome of liver grafts from "older" donors (more than 50 years old) were compared with grafts from younger donors (less than 50 years old). Of 184 consecutive liver transplants, 23 grafts were from older donors (50.2-65.3 years, mean 54.3 years). The liver preservation period was short, averaging less than 4 hr with the maximum under 8 hr for the older grafts. The majority of livers were preserved with Collins' solution. All transplants were performed using consistent methods that had proved to be successful over time. The medical status of the patients who received the older and younger grafts was similar but a higher percentage of older grafts were transplanted into ABO blood group--incompatible recipients. Graft function--as determined by peak aminotransferase levels, duration of prolonged prothrombin time, retransplantation rate within 30 days and incidence of primary nonfunction--was not significantly different in older versus younger grafts. Actual 30-day graft survival was 86.9% in the older grafts and 85.1% in the younger grafts. Actuarial 1-year graft and patient survival rates were 65.0% and 71.4%, respectively, in recipients of older grafts and 68.8% and 75.6%, respectively, in recipients of younger grafts. It is concluded that donor livers older than 50 years can be transplanted with the same success as younger livers provided that other generally accepted donor criteria are satisfied and the preservation period is short. The upper age limit for liver donation is not yet known.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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