Liver transplantation using organ donation after cardiac death: A clinical predictive index for graft failure-free survival

Johnny C. Hong, Hasan Yersiz, Prawat Kositamongkol, Victor W. Xia, Fady M. Kaldas, Henrik Petrowsky, Douglas G. Farmer, Gerald Lipshutz, Daniela Markovic, Jonathan R. Hiatt, Ronald W. Busuttil

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

113 Scopus citations


Objective: To define a prognostic scoring system for risk stratification of patients undergoing orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) using grafts from donation after cardiac death (DCD). Design: Retrospective study. Setting: University transplant center. Patients: Eighty-one patients underwent OLT using DCD grafts from March 1, 1994, to November 30, 2010. The mean follow-up was 2 years. Independent risk factors for graft failure after OLT were identified using Cox model and assigned risk score points. Points were summed and assigned to predictive index categories: 0 or 1 for low risk, 2 to 4 for intermediate risk, and 5 to 9 for high risk. Results: Six multivariate factors predictive for graft failure after OLT using DCD grafts included the following: for recipients, (1) diagnosis of hepatitis C virus with malignancy, non - hepatitis C virus with malignancy, or hepatitis C virus only, (2) previous OLT, and (3) body mass index (calculated as weight in kilograms divided by height in meters squared) greater than 30; for donors, (4) hepatitis B core antibody positivity and (5) mean arterial pressure lower than 60 mm Hg for longer than 20 minutes after withdrawal of life support; and for grafts, (6) cold ischemia time longer than 6 hours. Five-year graft failure - free survival was significantly higher for the low-risk group (83%) compared with the intermediate-risk (62%) and high-risk (0%) groups (P<.001). Overall biliary complications occurred in 24 patients (29%), with ischemic cholangiopathy in 8 patients (9.9%). Conclusions: Our study showed superior long-term patient survival with liver transplantation using DCD organs in highly selected donors and recipients. We propose a practical risk stratification system highly predictive of long-term survival outcomes after OLT using DCD grafts. Application of this predictive index for transplant candidates receiving DCD liver grafts would improve patients'outcomes and optimize use of scarce resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1017-1023
Number of pages7
JournalArchives of Surgery
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Surgery


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