Avoiding ICU Admission by Using a Fast-Track Protocol Is Safe in Selected Adult-to-Adult Live Donor Liver Transplant Recipients

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Abstract

Background

We evaluated patient characteristics of live donor liver transplant (LDLT) recipients undergoing a fast-track protocol without intensive care unit (ICU) admission versus LDLT patients receiving posttransplant ICU care.

Methods

Of the 153 LDLT recipients, 46 patients were included in our fast-track protocol without ICU admission. Both, fast-tracked patients and ICU-admitted patients were compared regarding donor and patient characteristics, perioperative characteristics, and postoperative outcomes and complications. In a subgroup analysis, we compared fast-tracked patients with patients who were admitted in the ICU for less than 24 hours.

Results

Fast-tracked versus ICU patients had a lower model for end-stage liver disease score (13 ± 4 vs 18 ± 7; P < 0.0001), lower preoperative bilirubin levels (51 ± 50 μmol/L vs 119.4 ± 137.3 μmol/L; P < 0.001), required fewer units of packed red blood cells (1.7 ± 1.78 vs 4.4 ± 4; P < 0.0001), and less fresh-frozen plasma (2.7 ± 2 vs 5.8 ± 5; P < 0.0001) during transplantation. Regarding postoperative outcomes, fast-tracked patients presented fewer bacterial infections within 30 days (6.5% [3] vs 29% [28]; P = 0.002), no episodes of pneumonia (0% vs 11.3% [11]; P = 0.02), and less biliary complications within the first year (6% [3] vs 26% [25]; P = 0.001). Also, fast-tracked patients had a shorter posttransplant hospital stay (10.8 ± 5 vs 21.3 ± 29; P = 0.002). In the subgroup analysis, fast-tracked vs ICU patients admitted for less than 24 hours had lower requirements of packed red blood cells (1.7 ± 1.78 vs 3.9 ± 4; P = 0.001) and fresh-frozen plasma (2.7 ± 2 vs 5.8 ± 4.5; P = 0.0001).

Conclusions

Fast-track of selected patients after LDLT is safe and feasible. An objective score to perioperatively select LDLT recipients amenable to fast track is yet to be determined.

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