Controlled DCD Liver Transplantation Is Not Associated With Increased Hyperfibrinolysis and Blood Loss After Graft Reperfusion

Shanice A. Karangwa, Jelle Adelmeijer, Johannes G.M. Burgerhof, Ton Lisman, Vincent E. de Meijer, Ruben H. de Kleine, Koen M.E.M. Reyntjens, Aad P. van den Berg, Robert J. Porte*, Marieke T. de Boer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review



The specific effect of donation after circulatory death (DCD) liver grafts on fibrinolysis, blood loss, and transfusion requirements after graft reperfusion is not well known. The aim of this study was to determine whether transplantation of controlled DCD livers is associated with an elevated risk of hyperfibrinolysis, increased blood loss, and higher transfusion requirements upon graft reperfusion, compared with livers donated after brain death (DBD). 


A retrospective single-center analysis of all adult recipients of primary liver transplantation between 2000 and 2019 was performed (total cohort n=628). Propensity score matching was used to balance baseline characteristics for DCD and DBD liver recipients (propensity score matching cohort n=218). Intraoperative and postoperative hemostatic variables between DCD and DBD liver recipients were subsequently compared. Additionally, in vitro plasma analyses were performed to compare the intraoperative fibrinolytic state upon reperfusion.


No significant differences in median (interquartile range) postreperfusion blood loss (1.2L [0.5–2.2] versus 1.3L [0.6–2.2]; P=0.62), red blood cell transfusion (2 units [0–4] versus 1.1 units [0–3]; P=0.21), or fresh frozen plasma transfusion requirements (0 unit [0–2.2] versus 0 unit [0–0.9]; P=0.11) were seen in DCD compared with DBD recipients, respectively. Furthermore, plasma fibrinolytic potential was similar in both groups. 


Transplantation of controlled DCD liver grafts does not result in higher intraoperative blood loss or more transfusion requirements, compared with DBD liver transplantation. In accordance with this, no evidence for increased hyperfibrinolysis upon reperfusion in DCD compared with DBD liver grafts was found.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)308-317
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes

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Copyright © 2021 The Author(s). Published by Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc.


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