The high-risk liver allograft recipient. Should allocation policy consider outcome?

Arch Surg. 1992 May;127(5):579-84. doi: 10.1001/archsurg.1992.01420050103013.


The Boston Center for Liver Transplantation has accumulated one of the larger series of liver allograft recipients. This review has provided an opportunity to examine recent pronouncements by Medicare regarding patient selection and survival and to question whether the current allocation scheme best utilizes a scarce supply of donor liver allografts. Patients with primary biliary cirrhosis, sclerosing cholangitis, and metabolic derangements have enjoyed excellent survival: in aggregate, 78.9% at 1 year. In contrast, patients suffering from acute hepatic failure, patients requiring life support, or patients with primary graft failure who need a second liver transplant did poorly compared with other recipient groups: 45% 1-year survival. This center's experience reflects a more realistic expectation of patient survival because it considers the high-risk recipient by diagnosis and urgency status. This study also suggests that assessment of outcome should be a component of allocation planning in the future.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Federal Government
  • Female
  • Graft Survival
  • Health Care Rationing / standards*
  • Health Planning / standards
  • Health Policy*
  • Humans
  • Life Support Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Liver Transplantation / mortality
  • Liver Transplantation / standards*
  • Liver Transplantation / statistics & numerical data
  • Male
  • Medicare
  • New England / epidemiology
  • Patient Selection*
  • Reoperation / statistics & numerical data
  • Resource Allocation*
  • Survival Rate
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / standards
  • Transplantation, Homologous / mortality
  • Transplantation, Homologous / standards*
  • Transplantation, Homologous / statistics & numerical data
  • Treatment Outcome*
  • United States
  • Waiting Lists