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Omar J. Haque, Eve M. Roth, Aaron Fleishman, Devin E. Eckhoff, Khalid Khwaja
(Department of Surgery, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, MA, USA)
Ann Transplant 2021; 26:e930243
Donation after circulatory death (DCD) livers remain an underutilized pool of transplantable organs due to concerns of inferior long-term patient survival (PS) and graft survival (GS), which factors greatly into clinician decision-making and patient expectations.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: This retrospective study used SRTR data to assess 33 429 deceased-donor liver transplants (LT) and compared outcomes between DCD and donation after brain death (DBD) LT recipients in the United States. Data were collected from 2002 to 2008 to obtain 10 years of follow-up (2012-2018) in the era of MELD implementation. Propensity scores for donor type (DCD vs DBD) were estimated using logistic regression, and the association of donor type with 10-year outcomes was evaluated after adjustment using stabilized inverse probability of treatment weights.
RESULTS: After adjusting for confounders, patient survival for DBD recipients at 10 years was 60.7% versus 57.5% for DCD recipients (P=0.24). Incorporating retransplants, 10-year adjusted patient survival was 60.2% for DBD recipients versus 55.5% for DCD recipients (P=0.07). Adjusted 10-year graft survival for DBD recipients was 56.4% versus 45.4% for DCD recipients (P<0.001). Surprisingly, however, 1 year after LT, DBD and DCD graft failure rates converged to 7.5% over the remaining 9 years.
CONCLUSIONS: These data reveal inferior 10-year DCD graft survival, but only in the first year after LT, and similar 10-year patient survival in DCD LT recipients compared to DBD recipients. Our results show the stability and longevity of DCD grafts, which should encourage the increased utilization of these livers for transplantation.
Keywords: Graft Survival, Liver Transplantation, Outcome Assessment (Health Care), Tissue and Organ Procurement, Tissue Survival, Transplantation Conditioning