Obesity increases mortality in liver transplantation – the Danish experience

Authors

  • Jens G. Hillingsø,

    1. Department of Surgical, Gastroenterology, and Liver Transplantation, Center of Abdominal Disease, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • André Wettergren,

    1. Department of Surgical, Gastroenterology, and Liver Transplantation, Center of Abdominal Disease, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • Masanobu Hyoudo,

    1. Department of Surgical, Gastroenterology, and Liver Transplantation, Center of Abdominal Disease, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
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  • Preben Kirkegaard

    1. Department of Surgical, Gastroenterology, and Liver Transplantation, Center of Abdominal Disease, Rigshospitalet, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark
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Jens G. Hillingsø MD, PhD, Department of Surgical Gastroenterology and Liver Transplantation, Center of Abdominal Disease, Rigshospitalet, Blegdamsvej 7–9, DK 2100 Copenhagen Ø, Denmark. Tel.: (45) 35452320; fax: (45) 35452183; e-mail: jenshillingsoe@dadlnet.dk

Summary

Obesity is increasing in the western world at an epidemic rate. The USA results in obese patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) are divergent, and so far no European experience has been reported. This study was designed to determine if obesity is a risk factor for mortality and morbidity in OLT in a medium-size European center. In a retrospective study of the records of 365 consecutive patients who had undergone OLT from 1990 to 2003, 20 obese patients [body mass index (BMI) > 30 kg/m2] were identified. Their data were compared with those of the nonobese (BMI < 30 kg/m2) patients operated immediately before. There were no differences in demographic data, diagnosis leading to OLT, United Network of Organ Sharing (UNOS) classification, Child-Pugh score, or preoperative morbidity. The groups were also comparable concerning donor data, duration of operation, use of blood products, intensive care unit (ICU), or hospital admission. Mortality was, however, significantly increased in the obese group (P = 0.01). Our study clearly demonstrates an increased mortality in obese patients undergoing OLT and the relative scarcity of organs taken into account, it seems reasonable to consider obesity as a relative contraindication to OLT.

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