"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Margaret Mead
Research Article

Analysis of adult 20-year survivors after liver transplantation


BackgroundLiver transplantation (LT) is the treatment of choice for chronic and acute liver failure; however, the status of long-term survivors and allograft function is not well known.AimTo evaluate the clinical outcome and allograft function of survivors 20 years post-LT, cause of death during the same period and risk factors of mortality.MethodsA retrospective study was conducted from prospective, longitudinal data collected at a single center of adult LT recipients surviving 20 years. A comparative sub-analysis was made with patients who were not alive 20 years post-transplantation to identify the causes of death and risk factors of mortality.ResultsBetween 1988 and 1994, 132 patients received 151 deceased-donors LT and 28 (21 %) survived more than 20 years. Regarding liver function in this group, medians of AST, ALT and total bilirubin at 20 years post-LT were 33 IU/L (13–135 IU/L), 27 (11–152 IU/L) and 0.6 mg/dL (0.3–1.1 mg/dL). Renal dysfunction was observed in 40 % of patients and median eGFR among 20-year survivors was 64 mL/min/1.73 m2 (6–144 mL/min/1.73 m2). Sixty-one percent of 20-year survivors had arterial hypertension, 43 % dyslipidemia, 25 % de novo tumors and 21 % diabetes mellitus. Infections were the main cause of death during the 1st year post-transplant (32 %) and between the 1st and 5th year post-transplant (25 %). After 5th year from transplant, hepatitis C recurrence (22 %) became the first cause of death. Factors having an impact on long-term patient survival were HCC indication (p = 0.049), pre-transplant renal dysfunction (p = 0.043) and long warm ischemia time (p = 0.016); furthermore, post-transplant factors were diabetes mellitus (p = 0.001) and liver dysfunction (p = 0.05) at 1 year.ConclusionOur results showed the effect of immunosuppression used during decades on long-term outcome in our LT patients in terms of morbidity (arterial hypertension, diabetes mellitus, dyslipidemia and renal dysfunction) and mortality (infections and hepatitis C recurrence).