Background: Increasing numbers of patients over the age of 60 are undergoing liver transplantation. Objective: We sought to determine whether age or clinical morbidities were associated with pre- and post-transplant executive and memory performance using the Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone (BTACT). Methods: Participants included 36 recipients with n = 20 in the older group (>60 y) and n = 16 in the younger group (≤60 years). The BTACT was administered an average of 3 months before transplant, and at follow-up post-transplant intervals of 3, 6, and 9 months. BTACT composite scores for memory and executive function with age and education norms were obtained. Results: Older recipients were more likely to have hepatocellular carcinoma, a lower biological MELD score at transplant, less cellular rejection, and fewer post-operative hospital days. Older and younger recipients showed comparable pre-transplant executive and memory function and comparable post-transplant improvement. Both older and younger patients showed statistically significant improvement in executive function scores at 3 months post-transplant and maintained improvement at 6 and 9 months. Memory function improved significantly in older patients by 6 months post-transplant but did not improve significantly in the younger group. Conclusion: Older liver transplant recipients were more likely to have hepatocellular carcinoma and a lower biological MELD score than younger recipients, but both age groups showed comparable pre-transplant cognitive performance and post-transplant cognitive improvement. Additionally, a normed telephone test can be used to effectively screen and track executive and memory function post-transplant.
- Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone neuropsychological
- hepatic encephalopathy
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Applied Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health