Background As the population in the United States continues to age, an increase in the number of potential donation after circulatory death (DCD) donors with advanced chronological age can be expected. The aim of this study was to analyze a multi-institutional experience in liver transplantation using DCD donors 50 years or older. Methods All DCD liver transplant (LT) performed at Mayo Clinic Florida, Mayo Clinic Rochester, and Mayo Clinic Arizona from 2002 to 2016 were included. Recipients of DCD LT were divided into 2 groups: those with donors 50 years or older (N = 155) and those with donors younger than 50 years(N = 316). Results Graft survival was similar between the DCD donors 50 years or older group and DCD donors younger than 50 group(P = 0.99). Graft survival at 1, 3, and 5 years was 87.0%, 75.6%, and 71.8% in the DCD donors 50 years or older group and 85.8%, 76.0%, and 70.4% in the DCD donors younger than 50 group. The rate of total biliary complications (32.3% vs 23.7%; P = 0.049) and of anastomotic strictures (16.1% vs 8.2%; P = 0.01) were higher in the DCD donors 50 years or older compared with the DCD donors younger than 50 group. No statistical significant difference in the rate of ischemic cholangiopathy (11.6% vs 7.6%; P = 0.15) was seen between the 2 groups. Due to homogeneous practice patterns at the involved institutions, additional Cox regression analysis using national data obtained from Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients was used to evaluate predictors of graft failure in DCD donors 50 years or older. Significant predictors of graft failure included: a calculated Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score of 30 or higher (P < 0.001), mechanical ventilation at the time of transplant (P < 0.001), medical condition (in intensive care unit) (P = 0.002), and cold ischemia time (P < 0.001). Conclusions The present study demonstrates that acceptable graft and patient survival can be achieved with the usage of DCD LT with donors 50 years or older. Optimizing recipient selection criteria and minimizing cold ischemia time may further improve outcomes.
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