Donation after circulatory death (DCD) liver transplantation improves deceased donor liver use and decreases waitlist burden, albeit at an increased risk of biliary complications and inferior graft survival. Employing liver vascular inflow measurements intraoperatively permits allograft prognostication. However, its use in DCD liver transplantation is hitherto largely unknown and further explored here. DCD liver transplantation patient records at a single center from 2005 to 2018 were retrospectively scrutinized. Intraoperative flow data and relevant donor parameters were analyzed against endpoints of biliary events and graft survival. A total of 138 cases were chosen. The incidence of cumulative biliary complications was 38%, the majority of which were anastomotic strictures and managed successfully by endoscopic means. The ischemic cholangiopathy rate was 6%. At median thresholds of a portal vein (PV) flow rate of <92 mL/minute/100 g and buffer capacity (BC) of >0.04, both variables were independently associated with risk of biliary events (P = 0.01 and 0.04, respectively). Graft survival was 90% at 12 months and 75% at 5 years. Cox regression analysis revealed a PV flow rate of <50 mL/minute/100 g as predictive of poorer graft survival (P = 0.01). Furthermore, 126 of these DCD livers were analyzed against a propensity-matched group of 378 contemporaneous donation after brain death liver allografts (1:3), revealing significantly higher rates (P < 0.001) of both early allograft dysfunction (70% versus 30%) and biliary complications (37% versus 20%) in the former group. Although flow data were comparable between both sets, PV flow and BC were predictive of biliary events only in the DCD cohort. Intraoperative inflow measurements therefore provide valuable prognostication on biliary/graft outcomes in DCD liver transplantation, can help inform graft surveillance, and its routine use is recommended.
View details for DOI 10.1002/lt.26212
View details for PubMedID 34133830