Liver donor characteristics have a significant impact on graft quality and, in turn, recipient outcomes. In this study, we examined deceased liver donor characteristics and donor risk index (DRI) trends in Canada over the past decade. Data were extracted from the Canadian Organ Replacement Register and Transplant Québec for the decade (2000-2010). Trends in the DRI and donor characteristics, including age, race, height, cause of death (COD), location, cold ischemia time (CIT), and type of donation, were examined. In all, 3746 transplants using deceased liver donors were analyzed. The age of donors, the proportion of black donors, the proportion of cerebrovascular accidents as the COD, and the proportion of donation after cardiac death (DCD) donors all increased over the aforementioned time period. The proportion of transplants classified geographically as local increased, and the CIT for donor livers decreased. Although many of the parameters adversely affecting the DRI increased over the study period, the DRI showed only a slightly significant trend of increasing. The increase in these parameters was counteracted by a decrease in modifiable risk factors such as the CIT and distance traveled. The 5-year recipient survival rate increased from 71.43% (1999-2001) to 75.50% (2005-2007); however, this trend was not significant. Although there was an increase in the use of older and DCD organs, recipient survival was not compromised. In conclusion, demographic trends for liver donors in Canada suggest an increase in the use of higher risk donors. However, the overall graft quality has been not compromised because of a decreasing trend for the CIT and an increase in local transplants. Better coordination and allocation practices in liver transplantation across Canada have minimized the risk of graft failure and resulted in good recipient outcomes. Liver Transpl 19:1236-1244, 2013.
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