Increasing liver transplantation waiting list mortality: a report from the Australian National Liver Transplantation Unit, Sydney
We aimed to describe the demand for liver transplantation (LTx) and patient outcomes on the waiting list at the Australian National Liver Transplantation Unit, Sydney over the last 20 years. Methods:
We performed a retrospective analysis with the data divided into three eras: 1985–1993, 1994–2000 and 2001–2008. Results:
The number of patients accepted for LTx increased from 320 to 372 and 548 (P < 0.001) with the number of LTx being performed increasing from 262 to 312 and 452 respectively (P < 0.001). The median adult recipient age increased from 45 to 48 and 52 years (P < 0.001) while it decreased in children from 4 to 2 and 1 years respectively (P= 0.001). In parallel, the deceased donor offers decreased from 1003 to 720 and 717 (P < 0.001). Methods to improve access to donor livers have been used with the use of split livers, extended criteria and non-heart beating donors, resulting in increased acceptance of deceased donor offers by 65% and 115% in the second and third eras when compared with the first era (P < 0.001). However, the adult median waiting time has increased from 23 to 41 and 120 days respectively (P < 0.001). This was associated with increased adult mortality on the waiting list from 23 to 40 and 122 respectively (P < 0.001). Conclusions:
Despite the increasing proportion of donor offers being used, the waiting list mortality is increasing. A solution to this problem is an increase in organ donation to keep pace with the escalating demand for LTx.
Document Type: Research Article
Affiliations: 1: Australian National Liver Transplantation Unit, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital 2: Departments of Neurosurgery 3: AW Morrow Gastroenterology and Liver Centre, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital 4: The Children's Hospital at Westmead, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia 5: Upper Gastrointestinal Surgery, Royal Prince Alfred Hospital
Publication date: September 1, 2010