Expanding Indications of Liver Transplantation in Spain: Consensus Statement and Recommendations by the Spanish Society of Liver Transplantation

Transplantation. 2021 Mar 1;105(3):602-607. doi: 10.1097/TP.0000000000003281.


Background: The number of patients awaiting liver transplantation (LT) in Spain has halved from 2015 to 2019 due to the reduction of candidates with hepatitis C and the successful implementation of nonheart beating donation programs across the country. The Spanish Society for Liver Transplantation has committed to take advantage of this situation by developing consensus around potential areas to expand the current indications for LT. The consensus group was composed of 6 coordinators and 23 expert delegates, each one representing an LT institution in Spain.

Methods: A modified Delphi approach was used to identify areas to expand indications for LT and to build consensus around paramount aspects, such as inclusion criteria and waitlist prioritization within each area. The scientific evidence and strength of recommendations were assessed by the "Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development, and Evaluation" system.

Results: The consensus process resulted in the identification of 7 potential areas to expand criteria in LT: recipient's age, hepatocellular carcinoma, alcoholic hepatitis, acute-on-chronic liver failure, hilar and intrahepatic cholangiocarcinoma, and unresectable liver metastases of colorectal cancer.

Conclusions: We present the main recommendations issued for each topic, together with their core supporting evidence. These recommendations may allow for expanding criteria for LT homogenously in Spain and may provide a guidance to other countries/institutions facing a similar scenario.

MeSH terms

  • Carcinoma, Hepatocellular / surgery*
  • Consensus*
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Liver Transplantation / methods*
  • Risk Factors
  • Societies, Medical*
  • Spain
  • Waiting Lists