Gender-specific differences associated with living donor liver transplantation: a review study

Liver Transpl. 2010 Mar;16(3):375-86. doi: 10.1002/lt.22002.


Living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) has developed into an important therapeutic option for liver diseases. For living donor kidney transplantation (LDKT), gender-specific differences have been observed among both donors (two-thirds being women and one-third being men) and recipients (two-thirds being men and one-third being women). The aim of this study was to determine whether there is a gender disparity for LDLT. We contacted 89 national and international transplantation registries, single transplant centers, and coordinators. In addition, a sample of 274 articles dealing with LDLT and its outcomes was reviewed and compared with the registry data. The data included the gender of the donors and recipients, the country of transplantation, and the donor-recipient relationship. The investigation showed that overall there were slightly more men among the donors (53% male and 47% female). As for the recipients, 59% of the organs were distributed to males, and 41% were distributed to females. Differences in the gender distribution were observed with respect to individual countries. Worldwide, 80% of the donors were blood-related, 11% were not blood-related, and 9% were spouses. The data acquired from the publications were similar to the registry data. Our research has shown that there are hardly any registry data published, a lot of countries do not have national registries, or the access to these data is difficult. Even widely ranging published studies often do not give information on the gender distribution or the donor-recipient relationship. Further investigations are needed to understand the possible medical, psychosocial, or cultural reasons for gender distribution in LDLT and the differences in comparison with LDKT.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Culture
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation / psychology
  • Liver Transplantation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Living Donors / psychology
  • Living Donors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Psychology
  • Registries
  • Sex Characteristics*