Donation after circulatory death transplant outcomes using livers recovered by local surgeons

Caroline C. Jadlowiec, Elizabeth Macdonough, Kylie Pont, Kristi Valenti, Blanca Lizaola-Mayo, Abigail Brooks, Devika Das, Raymond Heilman, Amit K. Mathur, Winston Hewitt, Adyr Moss, Bashar Aqel, Kunam S. Reddy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Donation after circulatory death (DCD) liver transplantation (LT) outcomes have been attributed to multiple variables, including procurement surgeon recovery techniques. Outcomes of 196 DCD LTs at Mayo Clinic Arizona were analyzed based on graft recovery by a surgeon from our center (transplant procurement team [TPT]) versus a local procurement surgeon (non-TPT [NTPT]). A standard recovery technique was used for all TPT livers. The recovery technique used by the NTPT was left to the discretion of that surgeon. A total of 129 (65.8%) grafts were recovered by our TPT, 67 (34.2%) by the NTPT. Recipient age (p = 0.43), Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score (median 17 vs. 18; p = 0.22), and donor warm ischemia time (median 21.0 vs. 21.5; p = 0.86) were similar between the TPT and NTPT groups. NTPT livers had longer cold ischemia times (6.5 vs. 5.0 median hours; p < 0.001). Early allograft dysfunction (80.6% vs. 76.1%; p = 0.42) and primary nonfunction (0.8% vs. 0.0%; p = 0.47) were similar. Ischemic cholangiopathy (IC) treated with endoscopy occurred in 18.6% and 11.9% of TPT and NTPT grafts (p = 0.23). At last follow-up, approximately half of those requiring endoscopy were undergoing a stent-free trial (58.3% TPT; 50.0% NTPT; p = 0.68). IC requiring re-LT in the first year occurred in 0.8% (n = 1) of TPT and 3.0% (n = 2) of NTPT grafts (p = 0.23). There were no differences in patient (hazard ratio [HR], 1.95; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.76–5.03; p = 0.23) or graft (HR, 1.99; 95% CI, 0.98–4.09; p = 0.10) survival rates. Graft survival at 1 year was 91.5% for TPT grafts and 95.5% for NTPT grafts. Excellent outcomes can be achieved using NTPT for the recovery of DCD livers. There may be an opportunity to expand the use of DCD livers in the United States by increasing the use of NTPT.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1726-1734
Number of pages9
JournalLiver Transplantation
Issue number11
StatePublished - Nov 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Hepatology
  • Transplantation


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