Influence of high donor serum sodium levels on early postoperative graft function in human liver transplantation: effect of correction of donor hypernatremia

Liver Transpl Surg. 1999 Sep;5(5):421-8. doi: 10.1002/lt.500050510.


Donor hypernatremia was reported to cause postoperative graft dysfunction in human orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). However, the effects of the correction of donor hypernatremia before organ procurement have not been confirmed. The aim of this study is to determine whether donor hypernatremia is associated with early graft dysfunction after OLT and to determine the effect of the correction of donor hypernatremia. One hundred eighty-one consecutive OLTs performed between May 1997 and July 1998 were entered onto this study. The cases were divided into three groups according to the donor serum sodium concentration: group A, serum sodium of 155 mEq/L or less before organ procurement (n = 118); group B, peak sodium greater than 155 mEq/L and final sodium 155 mEq/L or less (n = 36); and group C, final sodium greater than 155 mEq/L (n = 27). Graft survival within 90 days after OLT and early postoperative graft function were analyzed. There were no significant differences in donor and recipient variables among the three groups. The frequencies of graft loss were 15 of 118 grafts (12.7%) in group A, 4 of 36 grafts (11.1%) in group B, and 9 of 27 grafts (33.3%; P <.05 v groups A and B) in group C. The liver enzyme values in groups B and C were significantly greater than those in group A postoperatively. The prothrombin times of group C were significantly longer than those of group A for the first 4 postoperative days. Recipients of hepatic allografts from donors with uncorrected hypernatremia had a significantly greater incidence of graft loss compared with recipients of hepatic allografts from normonatremic donors. However, the differences in graft survival were abrogated by the correction of donor hypernatremia before procurement.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Graft Rejection / blood
  • Graft Rejection / epidemiology
  • Graft Rejection / etiology*
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Hypernatremia / blood
  • Hypernatremia / complications*
  • Incidence
  • Liver Failure / blood
  • Liver Failure / complications
  • Liver Failure / surgery
  • Liver Transplantation / physiology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pennsylvania / epidemiology
  • Prospective Studies
  • Sodium / blood*
  • Tissue Donors*


  • Sodium