Elderly recipients of liver transplantation: impact of age and psychosocial variables on outcome

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Abstract

Purpose of review

With expanding experience and success of liver transplantation, increasing numbers of elderly candidates await and undergo liver transplantation. There is accumulating evidence that graft survival and mortality does not appear to differ significantly between the young and carefully selected elderly liver transplantation recipients. Although existing evidence suggests that psychosocial factors impact outcomes after liver transplantation in general, no such information is available specifically for elderly (age ≥65 years) liver transplantation recipients. We conducted a broad medical literature review of outcome studies of elderly liver transplantation recipients. In this review article, we summarize the findings and comment on psychosocial variables included in these studies.

Recent findings

Ten outcome studies have reported on the impact of age on the liver transplantation outcomes. There is increasing evidence of favorable outcomes in elderly liver transplantation recipients. Few of these studies include measures of quality of life, functional improvement and other psychosocial variables.

Summary

Very limited information is available about the impact of psychosocial factors on outcomes in elderly liver transplantation recipients. This dearth of information represents a critical gap in our knowledge and has implications for optimal candidate selection and outcomes after liver transplantation.

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