Novel Benchmark Values for Redo Liver Transplantation. Does the Outcome Justify the Effort?

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Annals of surgery


OBJECTIVE: To define benchmark cutoffs for redo liver transplantation (redo-LT).

BACKGROUND: In the era of organ shortage, redo-LT is frequently discussed in terms of expected poor outcome and wasteful resources. However, there is a lack of benchmark data to reliably evaluate outcomes after redo-LT.

METHODS: We collected data on redo-LT between January 2010 and December 2018 from 22 high-volume transplant centers. Benchmark cases were defined as recipients with MELD score ≤25, absence of portal vein thrombosis, no mechanical ventilation at the time of surgery, receiving a graft from a donor after brain death. Also, high-urgent priority and early redo-LT including those for primary non-function (PNF) or hepatic artery thrombosis were excluded. Benchmark cutoffs were derived from the 75th percentile of the medians of all benchmark centers.

RESULTS: Out of 1110 redo-LT, 373 (34%) cases qualified as benchmark cases. Among these cases, the rate of postoperative complications until discharge was 76%, and increased up to 87% at 1-year, respectively. One-year overall survival rate was excellent with 90%. Benchmark cutoffs included Comprehensive Complication Index (CCI®) at 1-year of ≤72, and in-hospital and 1-year mortality rates of ≤13% and ≤15%, respectively. In contrast, patients who received a redo-LT for PNF showed worse outcomes with some values dramatically outside the redo-LT benchmarks.

CONCLUSION: This study shows that redo-LT achieves good outcome when looking at benchmark scenarios. However, this figure changes in high-risk redo-LT, as for example in PNF. This major analysis objectifies for the first-time results and efforts for redo-LT and can serve as a basis for discussion about the use of scarce resources.

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ePub ahead of print