Liver Transplantation from Deceased Donors Serologically Positive for Chagas Disease

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Abstract

The high mortality rates among patients waiting for liver transplantation has motivated the use of ‘marginal livers’, among which are included livers from deceased donors serologically positive for Chagas disease (CD). The present work describes the outcome of orthotopic liver transplantation in six patients with severe liver disease (Child Pugh C), with livers from donors serologically positive for CD. Transplantations were performed from November 2000 to January 2005, and the patients received prophylactic treatment with benznidazole for 60 days, as a recommended by the Brazilian Consensus in Chagas Disease. The transplantation procedures presented no technical problems, and all the patients were discharged from hospital. Five of them did not present side effects demanding interruption of the prophylactic treatment. Four of the patients were clinically well over 1 year after transplantation (mean follow-up of 42.1 months), with negative serological results for CD. Two patients died, one of them 6 months post surgery of sepsis due to biliary complication and other one due to pulmonary (tuberculosis) complications. They were both serologically negative for CD. These results suggest that liver transplantation from CD donors, followed by benznidazole prophylactic treatment, is an important therapeutic alternative for severe liver disease.

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