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Transplantation. 1996 Jul 15;62(1):62-5.

Safe use of hepatic allografts from donors older than 70 years.

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Division of Liver Transplantation, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, New York 10029, USA.


Between March 1991 and August 1995, 36 livers from donors >/=70 years old were transplanted. In donors, we recorded the following risk factors: alanine aminotransferase > 120 and rising, dopamine dose > 15 microg/kg/min, hypotension (systolic blood pressure <80) >1 hr, stay in the intensive care unit >5 days and body mass index >/=27. In 35 recipients, we recorded pretransplant United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) status, cold/warm ischemia time, intraoperative blood loss, and occurrence of poor early graft function or primary nonfunction. Mean recipient age was 55 years (range, 25-75 years). Four recipients were UNOS status 1, 19 were UNOS 2, and 12 were UNOS 3. Two livers were used as second grafts for primary graft nonfunction. Mean donor age was 73 years (range, 70-84 years). Intracranial bleeding was the cause of death in the majority of donors. The 36 donors had 40 risk factors; 10 donors had >1 risk factor. Mean cold and warm ischemia times were 9:08 +/- 2:57 hr and 51 +/- 9 min. Mean total operative time was 7.5 hr. Posttransplant mean peak alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase levels were 937.3 +/- 703.1 IU/L and 923.3 +/- 708.5 IU/L, respectively. Mean prothrombin time on postoperative day 2 was 14.9 +/- 1.6 sec. Average total bilirubin on postoperative day 5 was 4.9 mg/dl. Median length of stay in the intensive care unit was 4 days. One recipient had poor early graft function; two recipients had primary nonfunction. Mean follow-up was 503 days (range, 110-1714 days). Three-month actual graft and patient survival rates were 85% and 91%, respectively. One-year actuarial graft and patient survival rates were also 85% and 91%, respectively. We conclude that older livers can be used safely. Advanced donor age should not be a contraindication to liver procurement.

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