Impact of donor age on survival and fibrosis progression in patients with hepatitis C undergoing liver transplantation using HCV+ allografts.

Research paper by Asma Poonawala AP Khapra, Kaushik K Agarwal, Maria Isabel MI Fiel, Nickolas N Kontorinis, Sabera S Hossain, Sukru S Emre, Thomas D TD Schiano

Indexed on: 12 Sep '06Published on: 12 Sep '06Published in: Liver Transplantation


Studies have suggested that the use of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive (HCV+) donor allografts has no impact on survival. However, no studies have examined the effect that HCV+ donor histology has upon recipient and graft survival. We evaluated the clinical outcome and impact of histological features in HCV patients transplanted using HCV+ livers. We reviewed all patients transplanted for HCV at our institution from 1988 to 2004; 39 received HCV+ allografts and 580 received HCV-negative (HCV-) allografts. Survival curves compared graft and patient survival. Each HCV+ allograft was stringently matched to a control of HCV- graft recipients. No significant difference in survival was noted between recipients of HCV+ livers and controls. Patients receiving HCV+ allografts from older donors (age > or =50 yr) had higher rates of graft failure (hazard ratio, 2.74) and death rates (hazard ratio, 2.63) compared to HCV- allograft recipients receiving similarly-aged older donor livers. Matched case-control analysis revealed that recipients of HCV+ allografts had more severe fibrosis post-liver transplantation than recipients of HCV- livers (P = 0.008). More advanced fibrosis was observed in HCV+ grafts from older donors compared to HCV+ grafts from younger donors (P = 0.012). In conclusion, recipients of HCV+ grafts from older donors have higher rates of death and graft failure, and develop more extensive fibrosis than HCV- graft recipients from older donors. Recipients of HCV+ grafts, regardless of donor age, develop more advanced liver fibrosis than recipients of HCV- grafts.