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Living donor liver transplantation improves survival over deceased donor transplants
Date:9/27/2011

New research shows liver transplantation candidates without hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) derive a greater survival benefit from a living donor liver transplant (LDLT) than waiting for a deceased donor liver transplant (DDLT). The study now available in the October issue of Hepatology, a journal published by Wiley-Blackwell on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases, reports that survival benefit from LDLT remains significant across the range of model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) scores, but this benefit was not apparent for low MELD candidates with HCC.

Liver diseases such as hepatitis B and C, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and HCC can range in severity from mild to life-threatening liver failure. In end-stage liver disease, when patient life is at risk, transplantation is the recommended option. According to the Organ Procurement and Transplant Network (OPTN), as of September 2011 more than 16,000 Americans are on the waiting list to receive a liver. Between January and June 2011 OPTN reported 3108 liver transplants were performed in the U.S., with roughly 96% being DDLTs and 4% LDLTs.

Previous studies found receipt of LDLT to be associated with improved survival compared with waiting for DDLT, however it remains unclear whether this advantage persists in candidates with low MELD scores (less than 15). "In order to better inform liver transplant candidates of survival outcomes, our study investigated the mortality risk of undergoing transplantation using livers from living donors versus waiting to receive a deceased donor organ," explains lead author Carl Berg, M.D., with the University of Virginia Health System.

For the present study, data on liver transplant candidates and potential donors were supplied by transplant centers involved in the Adult-to-Adult Living Donor Liver Transplantation Cohort Study. A total of 868 adult liver transplant candidates were included in the study and were fol
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Contact: Dawn Peters
healthnews@wiley.com
781-388-8408
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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