The predictive value of donor liver biopsies for the development of primary nonfunction after orthotopic liver transplantation.
Methods of accurately assessing the suitability of donor livers prior to transplantation are required if the incidence of primary nonfunction (PNF) is to be reduced. This study evaluated the ability of donor liver biopsies to predict the development of primary nonfunction after transplantation. From June 1987 until May 1990, 170 liver transplants were performed in 147 patients. A total of 124 donor liver biopsies were obtained and divided into three groups. Group 1 biopsies (n = 77) were obtained after revascularization of the liver, group 2 biopsies (n = 19) were obtained prior to donor hepatectomy but examined only after implantation, and group 3 biopsies (n = 28) were obtained as in group 2, but were examined prior to implantation. Three of 89 (3.4%) livers interpreted as having normal histology developed primary nonfunction, while one of 26 (3.8%) biopsies interpreted as having a minimal or moderate amount of fatty infiltration developed primary nonfunction. PNF occurred in 7 of 8 livers with severe fatty infiltration (3), hydropic degeneration (3), and centrilobular necrosis (1). A fourth liver with hydropic degeneration and poor function ultimately failed requiring retransplantation 8 weeks later. Analysis of liver function revealed progressive elevation in aspartate-aminotransferase, alanine-aminotransferase, lactate dehydrogenase, and serum ammonia (NH3) with increasing degrees of fatty infiltration. Donor age and weight was also found to be significantly higher in livers with fatty infiltration. This study suggests that donor liver biopsies demonstrating normal histology or minimal-to-moderate fatty infiltration function adequately, but that donor livers with severe fatty infiltration or hydropic degeneration function poorly and should not be transplanted.
D'Alessandro, AM; Kalayoglu, M; Sollinger, HW; Hoffmann, RM; Reed, A; Knechtle, SJ; Pirsch, JD; Hafez, GR; Lorentzen, D; Belzer, FO
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