Data on adult liver transplants performed in the US in 2018 are notable for (1) continued growth in numbers of new waitlist registrants (11,844) and transplants performed (8250); (2) continued increase in the transplant rate (54.5 per 100 waitlist-years); (3) a precipitous decline in waitlist registrations and transplants for hepatitis-C-related indications; (4) increases in waitlist registrants and recipients with alcoholic liver disease and with clinical profiles consistent with non-alcoholic fatty liver disease; (5) increased use of hepatitis C virus antibody-positive donor livers; and (6) continued improvement in graft survival despite changing recipient characteristics such as older age and higher rates of obesity and diabetes. Variability in transplant rates remained by candidate race, hepatocellular carcinoma status, urgency status, and geography. The volume of pediatric liver transplants was relatively unchanged. The highest rate of pre-transplant mortality persisted for children aged younger than 1 year. Children underwent transplant at higher acuity than in the past, as evidenced by higher model for end-stage liver disease/pediatric end-stage liver disease scores and listings at status 1A and 1B at transplant. Despite higher illness severity scores at transplant, pediatric graft and patient survival posttransplant have improved over time.
Keywords: Liver transplant; allocation; distribution; waiting list.