It is well known that implantation of donor livers with severe fatty infiltration (>60%) is frequently associated with early hepatic dysfunction and an increased incidence of primary nonfunction after liver transplantation. The outcome of donor livers with less fatty infiltration has not been well defined. We, therefore, studied the outcome of 59 liver transplantations in which donor livers with up to 30% fat were used. Patient outcome was compared to a time-matched control group of 57 patients. The two groups were similar in terms of age, gender, preservation time, primary diagnosis, and UNOS status. We compared both groups with regard to 4-month and 2-year patient and graft survival. We also assessed the incidence of ischemic type biliary strictures and hepatic artery thrombosis, and evaluated the causes of graft loss in both groups. We found that use of donor livers with up to 30% fatty infiltration was associated with a significant decrease in 4-month graft survival (76% vs. 89%, P<0.05) and in 2-year patient survival (77% vs. 91%, P<0.05). Primary nonfunction and primary dysfunction formed the main cause of graft loss and mortality. Multivariate analysis showed that fatty infiltration is an independent predictive factor for outcome after transplantation. We conclude that liver allografts with up to 30% fat lead to diminished outcome after liver transplantation. However, this diminished outcome should be viewed with respect to the increasing mortality on the national waiting list.
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