New research published in the American Journal of Transplantation indicates that emergency evaluations of living liver donors can be conducted safely to allow acute liver failure patients to undergo transplantation before their condition worsens, according to a news release.
In the study, Markus Selzner, MD, of the Multi-Organ Transplant Program at Toronto General Hospital, and his colleagues reported on their hospital’s experience using live donor liver transplantation for treating adult patients suffering from acute liver failure. From 2006 to 2013, seven patients with acute liver failure who underwent a LDLT were compared with 26 patients who underwent a deceased donor liver transplantation. For LDLT, liver transplantation was performed within 18 to 72 hours after living donor evaluation was initiated.
LDLT versus DDLT had similar incidences of overall postoperative complications (31% versus 43%), and no differences were detected between LDLT and DDLT patients regarding 1-, 3-, and 5-year liver and patient survival rates. No severe donor complications occurred after LDLT.
“Since acute liver failure can deteriorate within hours or days to coma or death, waiting time is critical for this patient group,” Selzner said in the news release. “If a living donor is available, liver transplantation can be performed without delay, reducing the risk of death or permanent disability of the recipient.”
In an accompanying editorial, Jean Emond, MD, of Columbia University in New York City, and Charles Rosen, MD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn., congratulated the researchers for their work, but noted that “further experience is necessary to demonstrate that urgent evaluations can be done safely, accurately,” according to the news release.
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