Hospitalization Before Liver Transplantation Predicts Posttransplant Patient Survival: A Propensity Score-Matched Analysis

Liver Transpl. 2020 May;26(5):628-639. doi: 10.1002/lt.25748.


In contrast to donor factors predicting outcomes of liver transplantation (LT), few suitable recipient parameters have been identified. To this end, we performed an in-depth analysis of hospitalization status and duration prior to LT as a potential risk factor for posttransplant outcome. The pretransplant hospitalization status of all patients undergoing LT between 2005 and 2016 at the Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin was analyzed retrospectively using propensity score matching. At the time of organ acceptance, 226 of 1134 (19.9%) recipients were hospitalized in an intensive care unit (ICU), 146 (12.9%) in a regular ward (RW) and 762 patients (67.2%) were at home. Hospitalized patients (RW and ICU) compared with patients from home showed a dramatically shorter 3-month survival (78.7% versus 94.4%), 1-year survival (66.3% versus 87.3%), and 3-year survival (61.7% versus 81.7%; all P < 0.001), whereas no significant difference was detected for 3-year survival between ICU and RW patients (61.5% versus 62.3%; P = 0.60). These results remained significant after propensity score matching. Furthermore, in ICU patients, but not in RW patients, survival correlated with days spent in the ICU before LT (1-year survival: 1-6 versus 7-14 days: 73.7% versus 60.5%, P = 0.04; 7-14 days versus >14 days, 60.5% versus 51.0%, P = 0.006). In conclusion, hospitalization status before transplantation is a valuable predictor of patient survival following LT.

MeSH terms

  • Hospitalization
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation* / adverse effects
  • Propensity Score
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors