Long-term graft survival after liver transplantation in the UW era: Late effects of cold ischemia and primary dysfunction

R. J. Porte, R. J. Ploeg*, B. Hansen, J. H. Van Bockel, J. Thorogood, G. G. Persijn, J. Hermans, O. T. Terpstra

*Corresponding author for this work

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77 Citations (Scopus)


The use of University of Wisconsin (UW) solution in liver transplantation (LTX) has significantly prolonged preservation times and facilitated semielective transplant procedures. Despite this advantage potential risk factors related to the donor, recipient, or cold storage method will persist in the UW era and detrimental effects will be reflected by primary dysfunction (PDF) after LTX. Concern has been voiced about the maximum period of UW preservation in LTX and various cold ischemia times (CIT) are mentioned. To evaluate the effect of UW solution in LTX, a prospective European multicenter study was initiated in 1988 and short-term results have been reported previously. This report focuses on the long-term effects and survival of prolonged preservation with UW solution and primary function after LTX. Three hundred and fifteen LTXs were performed in 288 patients in participating European centers. Complete follow up of at least 6 years was available for 296 grafts in 277 patients. Effects of donor, preservation, and recipient risk factors on PDF including primary non-function (PNF) and initial poor function (IPF) were evaluated. Next, the effect of risk factors on graft survival (GS) was analyzed including the long-term impact of PNF and IPF using multivariate analyses and the Kaplan-Meyer method. PDF occurred in 15.2% (45/296) with PNF in 7.8% and IPF in 7.4%. Patients with IPF had a 34% lower GS at 3 months those with immediate function (IF; 58% vs 91% ; P < 0.001). This difference persisted up to 6 years for patients with IPF with a 39% GS vs 72% after IF (P < 0.001). Median CIT was significantly longer in grafts with PNF compared to IPF or IF (P = 0.03). Long-term GS, however, was significantly influenced at a lower CIT threshold with a 6-year GS for CIT ≤ 16 h of 67%, compared to a CIT > 16 h of 51% (P = 0.02). Other independent risk factors for the 6-year survival rate were re-LTX, ABO incompatibility, and recipient diagnosis of acute hepatic failure. In conclusion, liver patients with PNF, but not with IPF, have a significantly lower CIT. IPF is associated with a significantly lower 3 month GS compared to IF, but this difference of 34% does not further increase during a 6-year follow up. Although a short term follow up (3 months) shows that with UW solution CIT up to 18 h has no adverse effect on GS, the 6-year data clearyl suggest that CIT should be kept to less than < 16 h to avoid tetrimental effects on lang-term GS after LTX.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)S164-S167
Number of pages4
JournalTransplant International
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - 1998
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

© Springer-Verlag 1998


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