The availability of donor organs limits the number of patients in need who are offered liver transplantation. Measures to expand the donor pool are crucial to prevent on-list mortality. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of livers from deceased donors who were older than 75 years.Methods
Fifty-four patients who received a first liver transplant (D75 group) from 2001 to 2011 were included. Donor and recipient data were collected from the Nordic Liver Transplant Registry and medical records. The outcome was compared with a control group of 54 patients who received a liver graft from donors aged 20 to 49 years (D20-49 group). Median donor age was 77 years (range, 75-86 years) in the D75 group and 41 years (range, 20-49 years) in the D20-49 group. Median recipient age was 59 years (range, 31-73 years) in the D75 group and 58 years (range, 31-74 years) in the D20-49 group.Results
The 1-, 3-, and 5-year patient/graft survival values were 87/87%, 81/81%, and 71/67% for the D75 group and 88/87%, 75/73%, and 75/73% for the D20-49 group, respectively. Patient (P = 0.89) and graft (P = 0.79) survival did not differ between groups. The frequency of biliary complications was higher in the D75 group (29.6/13%, P = 0.03).Conclusions
Selected livers from donors over age 75 years should not be excluded based on age, which does not compromise patient or graft survival despite a higher frequency of biliary complications.