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Donor age has no affect on long-term liver transplant survival

A new study on the effect of donor age on survival and recurrence of hepatitis C after liver transplantation found that it influenced short-term survival, but had no long-term effect.

The results of this study appear in the April 2005 issue of Liver Transplantation, the official journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS). The journal is published on behalf of the societies by John Wiley & Sons, Inc. and is available online via Wiley InterScience at http://www.interscience.wiley.com/journal/livertransplantation.

Patients who undergo liver transplantation for cirrhosis due to hepatitis C are invariably re-infected with the virus after transplantation. When the disease recurs it often has a more rapid and aggressive course than in patients who have not undergone liver transplantation. Survival rates of these patients appear to be worsening during the past few years, but recent studies have shown conflicting results about whether a donor's age can be associated with a poor outcome. The current study examined the impact of donor age, immunosuppression, and other factors on short and long term survival after liver transplant, as well as fibrosis in these patients.

Led by Dimitrios N. Samonakis, of the Liver Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Unit of the Royal Free Hospital in London, the study examined 195 transplantations due to end stage cirrhosis related to hepatitis C that took place between 1989 and June 2003. The median donor age was 41.5 years and 47 patients had a donor who was 30 years old or younger. Donor age was not associated with the development of severe fibrosis, whereas patients receiving treatment with maintenance steroids and/or azathioprine tended not to develop severe fibrosis, even if later discontinued; acute hepatitis C was an independent factor associated wit
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Contact: David Greenberg
dgreenbe@wiley.com
201-748-6484
John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
21-Mar-2005


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