Ethnic variations in patient and graft survival after liver transplantation. Identification of a new risk factor for chronic allograft rejection

Transplantation. 1993 Dec;56(6):1381-4. doi: 10.1097/00007890-199312000-00020.


The ethnic origin of renal graft recipients is recognized as an important determinant of graft survival. In liver transplantation, the effect of racial origin has been studied in black American recipients and has suggested a trend toward inferior graft survival in this group. In this study, we have analyzed outcome of transplantation in a large multiethnic liver transplant program. Non-Caucasoid recipients had an inferior patient survival compared with Caucasoids and, in particular, European Caucasoids at 1, 3, and 5 years after transplantation (46.7% vs. 60.2% at 3 years, P = 0.05). Non-European recipients had an inferior graft survival compared with European recipients at 1, 2, and 3 years after transplantation (e.g., north Europeans 53.5%, south Europeans 48.5%, Middle Eastern 40%, and non-Caucasoids 27% at 3 years, P < 0.01). Different frequencies of chronic allograft rejection in the ethnic groups contributed to the rates of graft survival, with the non-European recipients developing chronic rejection at over twice the rate of European recipients (12.6% vs. 5.9%, respectively, P = 0.002). The findings in this study support the evidence from renal transplant programs that the ethnic origin of recipients is an important determinant of outcome after transplantation, with increasing frequency of chronic rejection in recipients nonindigenous to the donor population contributing to the variations in patient and graft survival rates.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Child
  • Chronic Disease
  • Ethnic Groups
  • Female
  • Graft Rejection / epidemiology
  • Graft Survival
  • HLA Antigens
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation / adverse effects
  • Liver Transplantation / immunology
  • Liver Transplantation / mortality*
  • Male
  • Reoperation
  • Survival Rate
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology


  • HLA Antigens