A prospective study on the reliability and cost effectiveness of preoperative ultrasound screening of the "marginal" liver donor

Transplantation. 1996 Jul 15;62(1):129-30. doi: 10.1097/00007890-199607150-00025.


With the growing shortage of available liver donors, many donors with risk factors that would have traditionally precluded liver procurement are now being considered. In this prospective study, we evaluated 50 "marginal" liver donors with pre-procurement abdominal ultrasounds and correlated results with findings at procurement and with subsequent allograft function. The results show that the ultrasounds have a specificity of 96% and a sensitivity of 68% in predicting abnormalities in donor livers that precluded transplantation. In addition, using ultrasound to screen marginal donors would result in significant savings in manpower and hospital resource utilization without "missing" any normal liver organs. Our results also show that, when properly selected, livers from donors with one or more high-risk factors function well with acceptable primary nonfunction rates.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Liver Transplantation / economics
  • Liver Transplantation / methods*
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • Tissue Donors
  • Ultrasonography