Low-volume deceased donor liver transplantation alongside a strong living donor liver transplantation service

World J Surg. 2014 Jun;38(6):1522-8. doi: 10.1007/s00268-013-2437-3.


Background: At our center, living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) is the main workload supported by a strong, mature service. Deceased donor liver transplantation (DDLT) is performed but in small volume. This study aimed to review the results of a low-volume DDLT service alongside a strong LDLT service.

Methods: Consecutive DDLTs for adults performed from 1991 to 2009 were reviewed. The 1st to the 50th DDLTs were categorized as Era I cases, and the rest were Era II cases. The outcomes of the DDLTs were analyzed and compared with those achieved overseas.

Results: Eras I and II consisted of 59 and 183 DDLTs, respectively. All donors were brain-dead and heart-beating with a median age of 49 years (range 7-76 years). Among the 242 DDLTS, 30.2 % were on a high-urgency basis and 15.3 % were for hepatocellular carcinoma. The patients had a median model for end-stage liver disease score of 21 (range 6-40), and most (67.8 %) were hepatitis B virus carriers. Before transplantation, 16.1 % of the patients were in the intensive care unit and 30.2 % were in the hospital. The hospital mortality rate dropped from 13.6 % (8/59) during Era I to 3.8 % (7/183) during Era II (p = 0.012). For Era I, the 1-, 3-, and 5-year survival rates were 84.7, 79.7, and 76.3 %, respectively, which improved to 92.9, 89.0 and 87.2 % for Era II (p = 0.026).

Conclusions: The recipient survival of this series compares favorably with contemporary series. It is shown that a low-volume DDLT service alongside a strong LDLT service can have excellent results.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Cadaver
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Graft Rejection
  • Graft Survival
  • Hong Kong
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Liver Transplantation / methods*
  • Liver Transplantation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Living Donors / statistics & numerical data*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Assessment
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / methods
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement / statistics & numerical data*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Young Adult