Central Surgical Association| Volume 128, ISSUE 4, P579-588, October 2000

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Liver transplantation from controlled non-heart–beating donors


      Background. The use of organs from non-heart-beating donors (NHBDs) has been proposed as one way to increase the donor pool. However, few centers have transplanted livers from NHBDs. We report here the results of 19 liver transplants from controlled NHBDs. Methods. From January 1993 through August 1999, 364 liver transplantations were performed from heart-beating donors (HBDs) and 19 liver transplantations were performed from NHBDs. Donor and recipient characteristics, posttransplant complications, and patient and allograft survival were compared. Results. No differences in hepatic artery, portal vein, or biliary complications were noted between the groups. However, the rate of primary nonfunction was higher in recipients of livers from NHBDs (10.5% vs 1.3%; P =.04). No difference in patient survival was seen between recipients of NHBDs or HBDs (72.6% vs 84.8%; P =.36); however, allograft survival was lower in recipients who received livers from NHBDs (53.8% vs 80.9%; P =.007). Conclusions. Liver transplantation from controlled NHBDs results in similar patient survival and post-transplant complications. However, primary nonfunction was higher and allograft survival was less in recipients of livers from NHBDs. The results of liver transplantation from controlled NHBDs are encouraging and should continue to be cautiously pursued as one way to help alleviate the current shortage of donor livers.(Surgery 2000;128:579-88.)
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