Improving Outcomes of Liver Retransplantation: An Analysis of Trends and the Impact of Hepatitis C Infection


Corresponding author: Rolland Dickson,


Retransplantation (RT) in Hepatitis C (HCV) patients remains controversial. Aims: To study trends in RT and evaluate the impact of HCV status in the context of a comprehensive recipient and donor risk assessment. The UNOS database between 1994 and October 2005 was utilized to analyze 46  982 LT and RT. Graft and patient survival along with patient and donor characteristics were compared for 2283 RT performed in HCV and non-HCV patients during 1994–1997, 1998–2001 and 2002–October 2005. Overall HCV prevalence at RT increased from 36% in the initial period to 40.6% after 2002. In our study group, 1-year patient and graft survival post-RT improved over the same time intervals from 65.0% to 70.7% and 54.87% to 65.8%, respectively. HCV was only associated with decreased patient and graft survival with a retransplant (LT-RT) interval (RI) >90 days. Independent predictors of mortality for RT with RI >90 days were patient age, MELD score >25, RI <1 year, warm ischemia time ≥75 min and donor age ≥60 (significant for HCV patients only). Outcomes of RT are improving, but can be optimized by weighing recipient factors, anticipation of operative factors and donor selection.