Liver and Intestine Transplantation in the United States 1998–2007


  • The articles in this report are based on the reference tables in the 2008 OPTN/SRTR Annual Report. Table numbers are noted in brackets and may be found online at:

* Corresponding author: Carl L. Berg,


Liver transplantation numbers in the United States remained constant from 2004 to 2007, while the number of waiting list candidates has trended down. In 2007, the waiting list was at its smallest since 1999, with adults ≥50 years representing the majority of candidates. Noncholestatic cirrhosis was most commonly diagnosed. Most age groups had decreased waiting list death rates; however, children <1 year had the highest death rate. Use of liver allografts from donation after cardiac death (DCD) donors increased in 2007. Model for end-stage liver disease (MELD)/pediatric model for end-stage liver disease (PELD) scores have changed very little since 2002, with MELD/PELD <15 accounting for 75% of the waiting list. Over the same period, the number of transplants for MELD/PELD <15 decreased from 16.4% to 9.8%. Hepatocellular carcinoma exceptions increased slightly. The intestine transplantation waiting list decreased from 2006, with the majority of candidates being children <5 years old. Death rates improved, but remain unacceptably high. Policy changes have been implemented to improve allocation and recovery of intestine grafts to positively impact mortality. In addition to evaluating trends in liver and intestine transplantation, we review in depth, issues related to organ acceptance rates, DCD, living donor transplantation and MELD/PELD exceptions.