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Health Professionals BlogLiver Transplantation

Split or whole liver transplantation? Utilization and posttransplant survival

Title: Split or whole liver transplantation? Utilization and posttransplant survival  

Source: Hepatology Communications 2023, 7 (9): e0225

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Date of publication: August 2023

Publication type: Article  

Abstract: Background: Split liver transplantation (SLT), where a single donor liver is divided for transplantation to 2 recipients, has the potential to increase the availability of size-matched livers for pediatric candidates and expand the supply of donor organs available for adult candidates. Although SLT is a well-established technique, the number of SLTs has remained flat during the past 2 decades, partly due to concerns about the posttransplant survival of SLT recipients compared with whole liver transplantation (WLT) recipients. Prior work on SLT versus WLT survival analysis had limitations because, for pediatric recipients, it did not consider the correlations between donor age/weight and the allograft type, and for adult recipients, it may have included records where the donor livers did not meet the split liver criteria (splittable).

Methods: Using the Organ Procurement and Transplantation Network’s database (2003-2019), this study analyzes and compares (i) key characteristics of donors and recipients, (ii) donor-recipient match dynamics (organ offers and accept/decline decisions), and (iii) recipient posttransplant survival, for SLT and WLT.

Results and conclusions: The results in this study show that the posttransplant survival of SLT and WLT recipients is similar (controlling for other confounding factors that may impact posttransplant survival), highlighting the importance of SLT for increasing the liver supply and potential benefits for both pediatric and adult candidates.

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