Liver Allografts from Donors older than 60: Benefits and Risks
Eytan Mor, Dan Shmueli, Ziv Ben-Ari, Nathan Bar-Nathan, Ezra Sharabani, Alexander Yussim, Boris Dorfman, Ran Tur-Kaspa, Zaki Shapira
Transplantation Dept. and Institute of Liver Diseases, Rabin Medical Center, Beilinson Campus; and Sackler School of Medicine, Tel Aviv University
With limited organ resources and an increasing number of candidates for liver transplantation, the world-wide trend is towards using liver allografts from donors older than 60 years. This strategy, however, may be hazardous because of the known correlation between advanced donor age and graft dysfunction. Since January 1996, each of 5 patients received a liver allograft from a donor older than 60 years. Preservation time in these cases was shortened as much as possible and liver allografts were used only if there were no other potential risk factors for primary nonfunction. Mean cold ischemic time was significantly shorter in this donor group (7.8 hrs) than for livers from 28 younger donors (10.2 hour; p<0.01). 3 of the 5 grafts from older donors had normal function immediately. The other 2 initially had biochemical features of preservation injury, but graft function returned to normal within the first week after transplantation. All 5 patients currently have normal graft function, with follow-up ranging from 3-8 months. There was no difference between the 5 recipients of grafts from older donors and 28 adult recipients of grafts from younger donors in extent of preservation injury and in immediate graft function. We conclude that in countries with limited organ resources, such as Israel, liver allografts from older donors can be used within defined limits and minimal preservation time.