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Transplant Proc. 2013 Oct;45(8):2995-6. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2013.08.070.

Survival rates among patients awaiting deceased donor liver transplants at a single high-volume Korean center.

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Division of Hepatobiliary Surgery and Liver Transplantation, Department of Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. Electronic address:



Since the establishment of the Korean Network for Organ Sharing (KONOS) in 2000, thousands of patients have been enrolled on the waiting list, but only a small proportion have received a deceased donor liver transplantation. This report on waiting list mortality in Korea based on data from a single institution.


The 1772 patients enrolled on the waiting list between February 2000 and December 2011 either have not yet received at the time of analysis or have died before receiving an organ. Survival information was obtained in February 2012 by reviewing medical records or by telephone. We excluded patients who died immediately after enrollment or after retransplantation.


Primary diagnoses of those awaiting transplantation were hepatitis B virus-associated cirrhosis (63.7%), alcoholic liver disease (14.3%), hepatitis C virus-associated cirrhosis (13.8%), and acute liver failure due to other causes (8.1%). The priority status of patients on the waiting list was KONOS status 1 (highest priority) in 3.8%, status 2A in 3.9%, status 2B in 41.9%, status 3 to 7 (lowest priority) in 50.5%. Their median survival periods were 1, 1, 18, and 59 months, respectively. The mean Child-Pugh score was 8.5 ± 2.5 and Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) score 18.1 ± 9.8.


Patients with high MELD scores or hepatocellular carcinoma succumbed soon after being entered on to the waiting list. By increasing organ donation rates and developing a risk-based allocation system, it should be possible to reduce mortality among patients on organ waiting lists.

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