HYPOTHESIS - Donor, technical, and recipient risk factors cumulatively impact survival and health-related quality of life after liver transplantation.
DESIGN - Retrospective study.
SETTING - Tertiary care center.
PATIENTS - A total of 483 adults undergoing primary orthotopic liver transplantation between January 1, 1991, and July 31, 2003.
MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES - Graft and patient survival, Karnofsky functional performance scores, Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 Health Survey scores, and Psychosocial Adjustment to Illness Scale scores as influenced by potential risk factors including donor age, weight, warm ischemia time, cold ischemia time (CIT), sex, United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) status (1 or 2A vs 2B or 3), recipient age and disease, bilirubin level, and creatinine level.
RESULTS - Five-year graft survival was 72% for recipients of donors younger than 60 years and 35% for recipients of donors 60 years and older (P<.001). A CIT of 12 hours or more was associated with shorter 5-year graft survival (71% vs 58%; P = .004). Five-year graft survival for UNOS status 2B or 3 was 71% vs 60% for status 1 or 2A (P = .02). A comparable pattern was seen for patient survival in relation to donor age (P = .003), CIT (P = .005), and urgency status (P = .03). Urgent UNOS status, advanced donor age, and prolonged CIT were independently associated with shorter graft and patient survival (P<.05). Functional performance and health-related quality of life were not affected by donor, recipient, or technical characteristics.
CONCLUSIONS - Combining advanced donor age, urgent status, and prolonged CIT adversely affects graft and patient survival, and the cumulative effects of these risk factors can be modeled to predict posttransplant survival.