A team from New York, USA, assessed quality of life after lobectomy for adult liver transplantation.
Between 1998 and 2000, 48 adults received liver grafts from living donors.
At least 2 months after donation, donors were mailed a structured questionnaire and the standardized Medical Outcomes Study Short-Form Health Survey (SF-36).
This latter survey is a generic measure, which assesses health-related quality of life outcomes using 8 scales: mental health, emotional limits, vitality, social function, physical function, physical limits, pain, and general health.
Of the donors, 63% responded at a mean of 280 days after donation.
| Donors scored higher than the general population in 7 of 8 questionnaire domains.
| Transplantation |
Half of their recipients had major complications (2 deaths, 4 retransplants, 9 biliary complications).
Regarding overall satisfaction, all said they would donate again.
The researchers found that, compared to published US norms (n = 2474), donors scored higher than the general population in 7 of 8 domains on the SF-36.
In addition, donors whose recipients had no complications scored significantly higher in mental health and general health compared with US norms.
On the other hand, donors whose recipients had major complications scored significantly lower on the mental health scale than those with recipients without major complications.
Leona Kim-Schluger, of the Transplantation Institute at the Mount Sinai Hospital, New York, said on behalf of the group, "Donors did not regret their decision to donate. In fact, several felt the experience had changed their lives for the better.
"In addition, donors scored as well as or better than US norms in general health."
"Quality of life after donation must remain a primary outcome measure when we consider the utility of living-donor liver transplants," it was concluded.