The ethical soundness of living donor liver transplantation in urgent indications is still under discussion.
Dr Yesim Erim and colleagues from Germany investigated the psychological distress of donors in cases of hepatocellular carcinoma or acute liver failure.
The team conducted a prospective multicenter study of 123 patients.
Health-related quality of life, anxiety, and depression were measured.
The team found the psychological distress of donors was correlated to the degree of urgency of the recipients' indication.
This was classified as nonurgent, hepatocellular carcinoma, or acute liver failure.
|After the transplantation, scores for anxiety improved in donors|
The researchers noted that during the donor evaluation prior to living donor liver transplantation, the donors with recipients for hepatocellular carcinoma and acute liver failure demonstrated reduced mental quality of life.
Compared to healthy controls, anxiety and depression were significantly increased in donors for acute liver failure.
The team found that 3 months after the transplantation, scores for mental quality of life as well as for anxiety and depression improved.
The researchers observed that these scores were within the normal range for the whole group as well as for the acute liver failure donors.
Dr Erim's team concluded, "The psychological burden was temporary in nature."
"The findings can be considered as arguments for the current practice to address family members as donors in cases of hepatocellular carcinoma and acute liver failure."