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Abstract

Fulminant hepatic failure is a common indication for liver transplantation. Outcomes of patients listed for a highly urgent liver transplantation have been studied, with special emphasis on etiology of the liver disease, clinical condition, and ABO blood type. Data have been collected from the Nordic Liver Transplantation Registry. All Nordic patients listed for a highly urgent primary liver transplantation during a 12-year period have been included. Of the 315 patients listed for a highly urgent liver transplantation, 229 (73%) received a first liver allograft, 50 patients (16%) died without transplantation, and 36 patients (11%) were permanently withdrawn and survived. In 43% of the patients, no definite etiology of the liver failure could be established. Paracetamol intoxication was the most frequent specific indication for listing. Patients with blood type A had no significant shorter waiting time (3.8 v 6.6 days; P = .1) but a higher rate of transplantation (82% v 66%, P = .006) as compared with blood type O patients. In a multivariate analysis, paracetamol intoxication remained the single independent predictor of an outcome without transplantation. In conclusion, a high transplantation rate was observed among patients listed for a highly urgent liver transplantation because of fulminant hepatic failure. Blood type O patients had a lower chance of receiving a liver allograft. Patients with paracetamol intoxication had both a higher mortality without transplantation and a higher withdrawal rate attributable to improved condition.