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Liver international


BACKGROUND AND AIMS: Identifying international differences in utilization and outcomes of liver transplantation (LT) after donation after circulatory death (DCD) donation provides a unique opportunity for benchmarking and population-level insight.

METHODS: Adult (≥18 years) LT data between 2008 and 2018 from the UK and US were used to assess mortality and graft failure after DCD LT. We used time-dependent Cox-regression methods to estimate hazard ratios (HR) for risk-adjusted short-term (0-90 days) and longer-term (90 days-5 years) outcomes.

RESULTS: One-thousand five-hundred-and-sixty LT receipts from the UK and 3426 from the US were included. Over the study period, the use of DCD livers increased from 15.7% to 23.9% in the UK compared to 5.1% to 7.6% in the US. In the UK, DCD donors were older (UK:51 vs. US:33 years) with longer cold ischaemia time (UK: 437 vs. US: 333 min). Recipients in the US had higher Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) scores, higher body mass index, higher proportions of ascites, encephalopathy, diabetes and previous abdominal surgeries. No difference in the risk-adjusted short-term mortality or graft failure was observed between the countries. In the longer-term (90 days-5 years), the UK had lower mortality and graft failure (adj.mortality HR:UK: 0.63 (95% CI: 0.49-0.80); graft failure HR: UK: 0.72, 95% CI: 0.58-0.91). The cumulative incidence of retransplantation was higher in the UK (5 years: UK: 11.9% vs. 4.6%; p < .001).

CONCLUSIONS: For those receiving a DCD LT, longer-term post-transplant outcomes in the UK are superior to the US, however, significant differences in recipient illness, graft quality and access to retransplantation were seen between the two countries.

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