Liver Transplant Recipients Older Than 60 Years Show Executive and Memory Function Improvement Comparable to Younger Recipients

Tanis J. Ferman, Andrew P Keaveny, Terry Schneekloth, Michael G. Heckman, Emily Vargas, Adriana Vasquez, Teresa Anne Rummans, C. Burcin Taner, Shehzad K Niazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalPsychosomatics
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019

Keywords

  • Brief Test of Adult Cognition by Telephone neuropsychological
  • cognitive
  • elderly
  • hepatic encephalopathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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    Ferman, T. J., Keaveny, A. P., Schneekloth, T., Heckman, M. G., Vargas, E., Vasquez, A., Rummans, T. A., Taner, C. B., & Niazi, S. K. (2019). Liver Transplant Recipients Older Than 60 Years Show Executive and Memory Function Improvement Comparable to Younger Recipients. Psychosomatics. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.psym.2019.01.008