A contemporary analysis of 20,086 deceased donor liver biopsies

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World journal of surgery


BACKGROUND: Pre-transplant deceased donor liver biopsy may impact decision making; however, interpretation of the results remains variable and depends on accepting center practice patterns.

METHODS: In this cohort study, adult recipients from 04/01/2015-12/31/2020 were identified using the UNOS STARfile data. The deceased donor liver biopsies were stratified by risk based on degree of fibrosis, macrovesicular fat content, and level of portal infiltration (low-risk: no fibrosis, no portal infiltrates, and <30% macrosteatosis; moderate-risk: some fibrosis or mild infiltrates and <30% macrosteatosis; high-risk: most fibrosis, moderate/marked infiltrates, or ≥30% macrosteatosis). Graft utilization, donor risk profile, and recipient outcomes were compared across groups.

RESULTS: Of the 51,094 donor livers available, 20,086 (39.3%) were biopsied, and 34,606 (67.7%) were transplanted. Of the transplanted livers, 14,908 (43.1%) were biopsied. The transplanted grafts had lower mean macrovesicular fat content (9.3% transplanted vs. 26.9% non-transplanted, P < 0.001) and less often had any degree of fibrosis (20.9% vs. 39.9%, P < 0.001) or portal infiltration (51.3% vs. 58.2%, P < 0.001) versus non-transplanted grafts. Post-transplant recipient LOS (14.2 days high-risk vs. 15.2 days low-risk, P = 0.170) and 1-year graft survival (90.5% vs. 91.7%, P = 0.137) did not differ significantly between high- versus low-risk groups. Kaplan-Meier survival estimates further revealed no differences in the 5-year graft survival across risk strata (P = 0.833). Of the 5178 grafts biopsied and turned down, PSM revealed 1338 (26.0%) were potentially useable based on biopsy results and donor characteristics.

CONCLUSION: Carefully matched deceased donor livers with some fibrosis, inflammation, or steatosis ≥30% may be suitable for transplantation. Further study of this group of grafts may decrease turndowns of potentially useable organs.

Medical Subject Headings

Adult; Humans; Liver Transplantation; Cohort Studies; Living Donors; Liver; Tissue Donors; Fibrosis; Biopsy; Graft Survival; Retrospective Studies

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