Liver Transplantation in the United States, 1999–2008

Authors


  • Note on sources: The articles in this report are based on the reference tables in the 2009 OPTN/SRTR Annual Report. Table numbers are noted in brackets and may be found online at: http://ustransplant.org.

* Corresponding author: Paul J. Thuluvath, thuluvath@gmail.com

Abstract

Changes in organ allocation policy in 2002 reduced the number of adult patients on the liver transplant waiting list, changed the characteristics of transplant recipients and increased the number of patients receiving simultaneous liver–kidney transplantation (SLK). The number of liver transplants peaked in 2006 and declined marginally in 2007 and 2008. During this period, there was an increase in donor age, the Donor Risk Index, the number of candidates receiving MELD exception scores and the number of recipients with hepatocellular carcinoma. In contrast, there was a decrease in retransplantation rates, and the number of patients receiving grafts from either a living donor or from donation after cardiac death. The proportion of patients with severe obesity, diabetes and renal insufficiency increased during this period. Despite increases in donor and recipient risk factors, there was a trend towards better 1-year graft and patient survival between 1998 and 2007. Of major concern, however, were considerable regional variations in waiting time and posttransplant survival. The current status of liver transplantation in the United States between 1999 and 2008 was analyzed using SRTR data. In addition to a general summary, we have included a more detailed analysis of liver transplantation for hepatitis C, retransplantation and SLK transplantation.

Ancillary