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Abstract

Not only is there a limited supply of organs for liver transplantation, but the quality of the available organs is not uniform. Risk factors such as donor age and cause of death are known to predict graft failure, but their impact on the recipient's quality of life (QOL) has not been reported. We sent a QOL survey to 299 adults at our institution who had received a liver transplant 1 to 7 years before the study. For the 171 patients (57%) who completed the Medical Outcomes Study Short Form 36 (SF-36), the mean Physical Composite Score (PCS) and the mean Mental Composite Score (MCS) were 61 and 66, respectively; the highest scores were for the Social Functioning subscale, and the lowest scores were for the Role Functioning/Physical and Energy/Fatigue subscales. The mean donor risk index (DRI) of the organs that the subjects received was 1.4 (range = 0.8-2.4). There was no correlation between the SF-36 scores and the DRI [there were changes of −4.8 and −2.8 in the PCS and MCS per unit increase in the DRI (P = 0.4 and 0.6, respectively)], even though we controlled for potential confounders such as age, sex, hospitalization before transplantation, the Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score at transplantation, years since transplantation, previous transplantation, and the Charlson comorbidity index. In conclusion, we found no association between organ quality and QOL after liver transplantation. If this finding is confirmed in prospective, multicenter studies, it will be useful in counseling patients about the decision to accept or not accept high-risk organ offers. Liver Transpl, 2011. © 2011 AASLD.