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Should donation after cardiac death liver grafts be used for retransplantation?

Dana K. Perry, Darrin L. Willingham, Lena Sibulesky, Ilynn G. Bulatao, Justin H. Nguyen, C. Burcin Taner

Abstract

Introduction. Donation after cardiac death (DCD) donors provide an important source of livers that has been used to expand the donor pool. As a consequence of increased numbers of OLT, allograft failure due to early and late complications and disease recurrence are more commonly encountered. The only life saving treatment for patients with liver allograft failure is liver re-transplantation (LR). The use of DCD liver grafts for LR is controversial. Material and methods. Between February 1998 and June 2008, 10 patients underwent LR with DCD allografts. Five (50%) patients had no post operative complications. The 30 day, 1 year, and 3 year patient survival are 80, 60, and 60%, respectively. When DCD grafts are used for sick patients with high MELD scores for LR, the patient and graft survivals are prohibitively low. Conclusion. We do not recommend utilization of DCD liver grafts for LR if a candidate recipient has moderate to high MELD score.

Key words. Donation after cardiac death, Liver retransplantation

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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