Outcomes after liver transplantation using deceased after circulatory death donors: A comparison of outcomes in the UK and the US

Tommy Ivanics, Marco P.A.W. Claasen, Madhukar S. Patel, Emmanouil Giorgakis, Shirin E. Khorsandi, Parthi Srinivasan, Andreas Prachalias, Krishna Menon, Wayel Jassem, Miriam Cortes, Blayne A. Sayed, Amit K. Mathur, Kate Walker, Rhiannon Taylor, Nigel Heaton, Neil Mehta, Dorry L. Segev, Allan B. Massie, Jan H.P. van der Meulen, Gonzalo SapisochinDavid Wallace

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background and Aims: Identifying international differences in utilization and outcomes of liver transplantation (LT) after donation after circulatory death (DCD) donation provides a unique opportunity for benchmarking and population-level insight. Methods: Adult (≥18 years) LT data between 2008 and 2018 from the UK and US were used to assess mortality and graft failure after DCD LT. We used time-dependent Cox-regression methods to estimate hazard ratios (HR) for risk-adjusted short-term (0–90 days) and longer-term (90 days–5 years) outcomes. Results: One-thousand five-hundred-and-sixty LT receipts from the UK and 3426 from the US were included. Over the study period, the use of DCD livers increased from 15.7% to 23.9% in the UK compared to 5.1% to 7.6% in the US. In the UK, DCD donors were older (UK:51 vs. US:33 years) with longer cold ischaemia time (UK: 437 vs. US: 333 min). Recipients in the US had higher Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) scores, higher body mass index, higher proportions of ascites, encephalopathy, diabetes and previous abdominal surgeries. No difference in the risk-adjusted short-term mortality or graft failure was observed between the countries. In the longer-term (90 days–5 years), the UK had lower mortality and graft failure (adj.mortality HR:UK: 0.63 (95% CI: 0.49–0.80); graft failure HR: UK: 0.72, 95% CI: 0.58–0.91). The cumulative incidence of retransplantation was higher in the UK (5 years: UK: 11.9% vs. 4.6%; p <.001). Conclusions: For those receiving a DCD LT, longer-term post-transplant outcomes in the UK are superior to the US, however, significant differences in recipient illness, graft quality and access to retransplantation were seen between the two countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1107-1119
Number of pages13
JournalLiver International
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2023


  • UNOS
  • liver transplant
  • outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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