Pretransplant Model to Predict Posttransplant Survival in Liver Transplant Patients

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Abstract

Objective

To develop a prognostic model that determines patient survival outcomes after orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) using readily available pretransplant variables.

Summary Background Data

The current liver organ allocation system strongly favors organ distribution to critically ill recipients who exhibit poor survival outcomes following OLT. A severely limited organ resource, increasing waiting list deaths, and rising numbers of critically ill recipients mandate an organ allocation system that balances disease severity with survival outcomes. Such goals can be realized only through the development of prognostic models that predict survival following OLT.

Methods

Variables that may affect patient survival following OLT were analyzed in hepatitis C (HCV) recipients at the authors’ center, since HCV is the most common indication for OLT. The resulting patient survival model was examined and refined in HCV and non-HCV patients in the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database. Kaplan-Meier methods, univariate comparisons, and multivariate Cox proportional hazard regression were employed for analyses.

Results

Variables identified by multivariate analysis as independent predictors for patient survival following primary transplantation of adult HCV recipients in the last 10 years at the authors’ center were entered into a prognostic survival model to predict patient survival. Accordingly, mortality was predicted by 0.0293 (recipient age) + 1.085 (log10 recipient creatinine) + 0.289 (donor female gender) + 0.675 urgent UNOS - 1.612 (log10 recipient creatinine times urgent UNOS). The above variables, in addition to donor age, total bilirubin, prothrombin time (PT), retransplantation, and warm and cold ischemia times, were applied to the UNOS database. Of the 46,942 patients transplanted over the last 10 years, 25,772 patients had complete data sets. An eight-factor model that accurately predicted survival was derived. Accordingly, the mortality index posttransplantation = 0.0084 donor age + 0.019 recipient age + 0.816 log creatinine + 0.0044 warm ischemia (in minutes) + 0.659 (if second transplant) + 0.10 log bilirubin + 0.0087 PT + 0.01 cold ischemia (in hours). Thus, this model is applicable to first or second liver transplants. Patient survival rates based on model-predicted risk scores for death and observed posttransplant survival rates were similar. Additionally, the model accurately predicted survival outcomes for HCV and non-HCV patients.

Conclusions

Posttransplant patient survival can be accurately predicted based on eight straightforward factors. The balanced application of a model for liver transplant survival estimate, in addition to disease severity, as estimated by the model for end-stage liver disease, would markedly improve survival outcomes and maximize patients’ benefits following OLT.

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