Background & aims: We sought to estimate the risk of perioperative mortality or acute liver failure for live liver donors in the United States and avoid selection or ascertainment biases and sample size limitations.
Methods: We followed up 4111 live liver donors in the United States between April 1994 and March 2011 for a mean of 7.6 years; deaths were determined from the Social Security Death Master File. Survival data were compared with those from live kidney donors and healthy participants of the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) III.
Results: Seven donors had early deaths (1.7 per 1000; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.7-3.5); risk of death did not vary with age of the liver recipient (1.7 per 1000 for adults vs 1.6 per 1000 for pediatric recipients; P = .9) or portion of liver donated (2.0 per 1000 for left lateral segment, 2.8 per 1000 for left lobe, and 1.5 per 1000 for right lobe; P = .8). There were 11 catastrophic events (early deaths or acute liver failures; 2.9 per 1000; 95% CI, 1.5-5.1); similarly, risk did not vary with recipient age (3.1 per 1000 adult vs 1.6 per 1000 pediatric; P = .4) or portion of liver donated (2.0 per 1000 for left lateral segment, 2.8 per 1000 for left lobe, and 3.3 per 1000 for right lobe; P = .9). Long-term mortality of live liver donors was comparable to that of live kidney donors and NHANES participants (1.2%, 1.2%, and 1.4% at 11 years, respectively; P = .9).
Conclusions: The risk of early death among live liver donors in the United States is 1.7 per 1000 donors. Mortality of live liver donors does not differ from that of healthy, matched individuals over a mean of 7.6 years.
Copyright © 2012 AGA Institute. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.