Evaluation of 100 patients for living donor liver transplantation

Liver Transpl. 2000 May;6(3):290-5. doi: 10.1002/lt.500060323.


The initial success of living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) in the United States has resulted in a growing interest in this procedure. The impact of LDLT on liver transplantation will depend in part on the proportion of patients considered medically suitable for LDLT and the identification of suitable donors. We report the outcome of our evaluation of the first 100 potential transplant recipients for LDLT at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (Denver, CO). All patients considered for LDLT had first been approved for conventional liver transplantation by the Liver Transplant Selection Committee and met the listing criteria of United Network for Organ Sharing status 1, 2A, or 2B. Once listed, those patients deemed suitable for LDLT were given the option to consider LDLT and approach potential donors. Donors were evaluated with a preliminary screening questionnaire, followed by formal evaluation. Of the 100 potential transplant recipients evaluated, 51 were initially rejected based on recipient characteristics that included imminent cadaveric transplantation (8 patients), refusal of evaluation (4 patients), lack of financial approval (6 patients), and medical, psychosocial, or surgical problems (33 patients). Of the remaining 49 patients, considered ideal candidates for LDLT, 24 patients were unable to identify a suitable donor for evaluation. Twenty-six donors were evaluated for the remaining 25 potential transplant recipients. Eleven donors were rejected: 9 donors for medical reasons and 2 donors who refused donation after being medically approved. The remaining 15 donor-recipient pairs underwent LDLT. Using our criteria for the selection of recipients and donors for LDLT gave the following results: (1) 51 of 100 potential transplant recipients (51%) were rejected for recipient issues, (2) only 15 of the remaining 49 potential transplant recipients (30%) were able to identify an acceptable donor, and (3) 15 of 100 potential living donor transplant recipients (15%) were able to identify a suitable donor and undergo LDLT. Recipient characteristics and donor availability may limit the widespread use of LDLT. However, careful application of LDLT to patients at greatest risk for dying on the waiting list may significantly reduce waiting list mortality.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Colorado
  • Comorbidity
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases / epidemiology
  • Liver Diseases / surgery
  • Liver Transplantation* / methods
  • Living Donors*
  • Male
  • Patient Selection*