Study identifies characteristics of patients likely to have a potential living liver donor

June 24, 2015

New research published in Liver Transplantation, a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the International Liver Transplantation Society, reports that younger patients, those who are married, and those with Child-Pugh C disease--the most severe measure of liver disease--are more likely immigrants, divorced patients and those at the lowest income levels were less likely to have a potential live donor volunteer for liver donation.

With a limited supply of deceased donor organs, livers from living donors provide a much needed, life-saving option for those with end-stage liver disease. Despite evidence suggesting that the 5-year recipient survival from the time of wait listing is estimated to be 20% higher with a live donor compared with deceased donor, living donor liver transplantation accounts for only a few percent in many Western countries.

"Given that the demand for liver transplantation is greater than the supply of deceased donor organs, there is an interest in increasing live donation at centers with experience in that method of transplantation," explains lead author Dr. Eberhard Renner with the University Health Network and University of Toronto in Ontario, Canada. "Our study aims to identify recipient characteristics that are associated with having a living donor volunteer for donation."

The research team reviewed data from 491 patients listed for liver transplantation at the University transplant center over a 24-month period. There were 245 patients identified who had a least one potential living donor with 70% of these recipients being male and having an average age of 53 years at wait listing. Hepatitis C, alcoholic liver disease and hepatocellular carcinoma were listed as reason for liver transplant in 34%, 20%, and 35% of cases in the study group.

Analyses found that recipients who had potential access to a living donor were more likely to have more severe liver disease (Child-Pugh C). The recipients were less likely to be older, single, divorced, immigrants or from the lowest income levels. Commenting about the findings Dr. Renner says, "More research is needed to understand and overcome the barriers to live donor liver transplants. Possible interventions like financial assistance and educational programs may help increase liver donation from living donors."
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This study is published in Liver Transplantation. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article may contact sciencenewsroom@wiley.com.

Full citation: "Recipient Factors Associated with Having a Potential Live Liver Donor." Adam Doyle, Rania N. Rabie, Arastoo Mokhtari, Mark Cattral, Anand Ghanekar, David Grant, Paul Greig, Gary Levy, Leslie Lilly, Ian McGilvray, Markus Selzner, Nazia Selzner and Eberhard L. Renner. Liver Transplantation; (DOI: 10.1002/lt.24148).

URL: http://doi.wiley.com/10.1022/lt.24148

Author Contact: Media wishing to speak with Dr. Renner may contact Alexandra Radkewycz with Toronto General Hospital, University Health Network at Alexandra.Radkewycz@uhn.ca.

About the Journal

Liver Transplantation is published by Wiley on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the International Liver Transplantation Society. Since the first application of liver transplantation in a clinical situation was reported more than twenty years ago, there has been a great deal of growth in this field and more is anticipated. As an official publication of the AASLD and the ILTS, Liver Transplantation delivers current, peer-reviewed articles on surgical techniques, clinical investigations and drug research -- the information necessary to keep abreast of this evolving specialty. For more information, please visit http://wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/lt.

About Wiley

Wiley is a global provider of knowledge and knowledge-enabled services that improve outcomes in areas of research, professional practice and education. Through the Research segment, the Company provides digital and print scientific, technical, medical, and scholarly journals, reference works, books, database services, and advertising. The Professional Development segment provides digital and print books, online assessment and training services, and test prep and certification. In Education, Wiley provides education solutions including online program management services for higher education institutions and course management tools for instructors and students, as well as print and digital content.

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