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Abstract

In general, the liver is considered to be larger in males than in females. In the present study, data on liver weight from 728 legal autopsies were analyzed with respect to gender, age, body height (BH), body weight (BW), body mass index (BMI), and body surface area (BSA). Descriptive statistics revealed that liver weight increases with age, reaching maximum values between 41 and 50 years in men and between 51 and 60 years in women. Thereafter, liver weight decreases again. Because this loss in liver weight starts earlier in men while liver weight continues to rise in women, the difference in liver weight between men and women is lost above the age of 50. Thus, this age defines a threshold value below which gender is expected to be a critical factor in the calculation of liver weight. When demographic data mentioned above were subjected to multiple stepwise linear regression analysis, liver weight (LW) was best predicted in younger people (16–50 years) by body weight, age, and gender: LW (g) = 452 + 16.34 × BW + 11.85 × age − 166 × gender (r2 = 0.381; “gender”: 1 = female, 0 = male). In contrast, in elderly people (51–70 years) LW was best predicted by BW and age only. Gender was not a significant factor. LW (g) = 1390 + 15.94 × BW − 12.86 × age (r2 = 0.35). When these formulas were applied to demographic data from 97 organ donors and compared to published formulas (which, however, do not consider the age-dependent effects of gender), the new formulas best predicted male to female liver weight ratios in younger and elderly donors. In conclusion, the new formulas might better predict liver weight in organ donors and transplant recipients to avoid liver size mismatch. (Liver Transpl 2004;10:678–685.)