Impact of donor age on survival and fibrosis progression in patients with hepatitis C undergoing liver transplantation using HCV+ allografts



Studies have suggested that the use of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive (HCV+) donor allografts has no impact on survival. However, no studies have examined the effect that HCV+ donor histology has upon recipient and graft survival. We evaluated the clinical outcome and impact of histological features in HCV patients transplanted using HCV+ livers. We reviewed all patients transplanted for HCV at our institution from 1988 to 2004; 39 received HCV+ allografts and 580 received HCV-negative (HCV−) allografts. Survival curves compared graft and patient survival. Each HCV+ allograft was stringently matched to a control of HCV− graft recipients. No significant difference in survival was noted between recipients of HCV+ livers and controls. Patients receiving HCV+ allografts from older donors (age ≥50 yr) had higher rates of graft failure (hazard ratio, 2.74) and death rates (hazard ratio, 2.63) compared to HCV− allograft recipients receiving similarly-aged older donor livers. Matched case-control analysis revealed that recipients of HCV+ allografts had more severe fibrosis post-liver transplantation than recipients of HCV− livers (P = 0.008). More advanced fibrosis was observed in HCV+ grafts from older donors compared to HCV+ grafts from younger donors (P = 0.012). In conclusion, recipients of HCV+ grafts from older donors have higher rates of death and graft failure, and develop more extensive fibrosis than HCV− graft recipients from older donors. Recipients of HCV+ grafts, regardless of donor age, develop more advanced liver fibrosis than recipients of HCV− grafts. Liver Transpl 12:1496-1503, 2006. © 2006 AASLD.