Liver transplant in the us remains a successful life-saving procedure for patients with irreversible liver disease. In 2012, 6256 adult liver transplants were performed, and more than 65,000 people were living with a transplanted liver. The number of adults who registered on the liver transplant waiting list decreased for the first time since 2002; 10,143 candidates were added, compared with 10,359 in 2011. However, the median waiting time for active wait-listed adult candidates increased, as did the number of candidates removed from the list because they were too sick to undergo transplant. The overall deceased donor transplant rate decreased to 42.3 per 100 patient-years, and varied geographically from 18.9 to 228.0 per 100 patient-years. Graft survival continues to improve, especially for donation after circulatory death livers. The number of new active pediatric candidates added to the waiting list also decreased. Almost 75% of pediatric candidates listed in 2009 underwent transplant within 3 years; the 2012 rate of deceased donor transplants among active pediatric wait-listed candidates was 136 per 100 patient-years. Graft survival for deceased donor pediatric transplants was 92.8% at 30 days. Medicare paid for some or all of the care for more than 30% of liver transplants in 2010.
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