Donor Diabetes and Prolonged Cold Ischemia Time Synergistically Increase the Risk of Graft Failure After Liver Transplantation.

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Both prolonged cold ischemia time (CIT) and donor history of diabetes mellitus (DM) are associated with reduced graft survival after liver transplantation. However, it is unknown whether the adverse effect of prolonged CIT on posttransplant graft survival is more pronounced after transplant with DM versus non-DM donor grafts.


The study sample included 58 226 liver transplant recipients (2002-2015) from the Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients. Multivariable Cox survival regression with interaction analysis was used to quantify the extent to which history of donor DM (n = 6478) potentiates the adverse effect of prolonged (≥8 hours) CIT (n = 18 287) on graft survival.


Donor DM and CIT 8 hours or longer were each associated with increased risk of graft failure (GF) (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 1.19; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.06-1.35 and aHR, 1.42; 95% CI, 1.32-1.53, respectively) compared with transplanted grafts without either risk factor. However, the combination of DM and CIT 8 hours or longer was associated with a higher risk of GF than either factor alone (aHR, 1.79; 95% CI, 1.55-2.06) and had a synergy index of 1.30. The interaction was significant on a multiplicative scale in the later postoperative period, days 31 to 365 (P = 0.047).


These results suggest that liver grafts from DM donors are more susceptible to the adverse effects of prolonged CIT than livers from non-DM donors. We need to be cognizant that they are more susceptible to ischemic injury, and this may be considered during the allocation process.

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