Survival analysis of liver transplant patients in Canada 1997-2002

Transplant Proc. 2006 Nov;38(9):2951-6. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2006.08.180.


Liver transplantation is an important health care issue for Canadians. Very few studies have assessed survival and determinants of survival in liver transplant patients in Canada.

Methods: We carried out an epidemiological analysis of 1 year survival and determinants of 1 year survival in liver transplant patients, using Canadian Organ Replacement Registry data (1997-2002). Survival curves were plotted by the Kaplan-Meier method. Cox proportional hazards analysis was applied to evaluate hazard ratios with different age groups, gender, ethnicity, blood groups, donor type, pretransplantation medical status, and HBV infection status.

Results: A total of 1164 liver transplant patients were included in the analysis. One-year survival rate was 84.7%. Male recipients had a 21% higher risk of developing organ failure than females. Recipients over 60 years of age had a 5% lower survival probability in comparison with recipients below 20 years of age. Pacific Islanders and Aboriginals had 32% and 9% lower survival probabilities, respectively, in comparison with Caucasians. Type B blood recipients had a 12% higher survival probability, whereas type AB blood recipients had a 7% lower survival probability compared with type O blood recipients. Twenty-six live organ recipients had 40% higher survival probabilities than 1138 cadaveric organ recipients. Patients with fulminant hepatitis (status 3F) had the highest survival, while patients with fulminant failure in ICU with intubation/ventilation (status 4F) had the lowest survival. One hundred sixty-seven recipients with positive HBsAg antigen showed 10% lower survival probability than 997 cases with negative HBsAg antigen.

Conclusion: In Canada, the first year survival rate is about 85%, which is comparable with other industrialized countries. Type of donor organs and recipient gender, ethnicity, ABO blood group, pretransplantation medical status, and HBV infection status had significant affects on the recipient survival.

MeSH terms

  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation / mortality
  • Liver Transplantation / physiology*
  • Male
  • Postoperative Complications / epidemiology
  • Registries
  • Sex Characteristics
  • Survival Analysis
  • Time Factors
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement