Differential Effects of Donor Age in Liver Transplant Recipients Infected With Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C and Without Viral Hepatitis


*Corresponding author: John R. Lake, lakex009@tc.umn.edu.


The variable impact of specific risk factors on survival outcomes based on pre-transplantation diagnosis was analyzed in adult liver transplant recipients reported to the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients: 778 with hepatitis B (HBV), 3463 with hepatitis C (HCV) and 7429 without viral hepatitis. Graft and patient survival for the HBV and no viral hepatitis groups did not differ significantly. The HCV group had significantly lower graft (p = 0.0019) and patient survival (p < 0.0001) than the no viral hepatitis group. Patient survival was significantly lower (p = 0.0011) for HCV compared to HBV patients; differences in graft survival approached significance (p = 0.0561). Donor age, which was not a risk factor in patients with HBV, was the strongest predictor of graft loss and death in patients with HCV, starting with donors >40 years. Donor age >60 years was the strongest predictor of graft loss and death in patients without viral hepatitis. The risks of graft loss and death were reduced for patients on tacrolimus-based immunosuppression with mycophenolate mofetil, regardless of disease etiology. There are clear differences in risk factors for poor outcomes based on underlying liver disease, particularly with regard to the impact of donor age.