Reuters Health Information (2005-03-30): Donor age not linked to late mortality in transplanted cirrhotic HCV patients
Donor age not linked to late mortality in transplanted cirrhotic HCV patients
Last Updated: 2005-03-30 16:44:36 -0400 (Reuters Health)
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - In patients who undergo
liver transplantation for hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related cirrhosis,
donor age is inversely related to survival at 3 months, but has no
effect on long-term survival, new research shows. Data from the same
study indicate that maintenance azathioprine is linked to increased
Virtually all HCV-infected patients who undergo liver
transplantation experience reinfection, but the severity of HCV
recurrence is variable. In recent years, survival and HCV recurrence
seems to be worsening among transplanted patients, the researchers
explain in the April issue of Liver Transplantation.
Although donor age has been theorized to play a role, it remains
unclear whether donor age has any effect on early or late mortality. To
investigate, Dr. Andrew K. Burroughs, from the Royal Free Hospital in
London, and colleagues analyzed data from 193 HCV cirrhotic patients
who received a liver transplant from a cadaveric donor. The median
follow-up period was 38 months.
As noted, donor age had no effect on survival after 3 months
post-transplantation. The presence of hepatocellular carcinoma before
transplantation as well as not using maintenance azathioprine were
associated with decreased long-term survival.
Donor age also had no effect on the risk of severe fibrosis.
Likewise, the year of transplantation did not influence this outcome,
whereas hepatitis flare raised the risk and maintenance steroids
"Donor age is probably not the most important factor determining the
severity of HCV recurrence after liver transplantation," Dr. Burroughs
told Reuters Health. "The results suggest that we should look at the
impact of immunosuppression more carefully. And, in fact, trials are
underway doing just that."
Liver Transpl 2005;11:386-395.