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Live donor liver transplants work better

Children who receive a section of transplanted liver from a live donor have a better chance of survival than those whose organ comes from a deceased donor.

Live donor liver transplants work better

Children who receive a section of transplanted liver from a live donor have a better chance of survival than those whose organ comes from a deceased donor. Living donor grafts, in which a section of an adult liver is transplanted, were successful 73 per cent of the time compared to a 63 per cent success rate when the liver came from a deceased donor, according to a U.S. data. The reasons for the better success rate with live donors had less to do with the original health of the graft as it did with the relative health of the recipients and the shortened time between procurement and implantation when the livers were without their own blood supply. Researchers from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville, Tennessee found that although live donor liver transplant poses risk to the donor, yet it is a valuable technique in paediatric transplantation to help overcome the critical organ shortage. Livers can regenerate, allowing transplants from live donors, especially to children who do not need a full-sized adult liver. The risks to donors include infection and bleeding. The study examined 8,771 paediatric liver transplants performed in the United States between 1987 and 2004. Of those, 81 per cent were whole livers from a deceased donor, 8 per cent were split livers from a deceased donor, and 11 per cent were split livers from living donors. The overall failure rate was 35 per cent, with many of those patients receiving another donated liver, while 1,329 children died.
Archives of Surgery,
May 2005
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