Older age is not considered a contraindication for liver transplantation. However, age-related morbidity may be a cause of mortality.
In this study, physicians from Spain evaluated survival and incidence of post-transplant complications in 111 adult liver transplant recipients.
The team divided patients into 2 groups according to age:
- Patients younger than 60 years (n = 54)
- Patients older than 60 years (n = 57)
The doctors found that older patients were more frequently transplanted for hepatitis C and hepatocellular carcinoma. Their liver disease tended to be less advanced.
However, after transplantation these patients had significantly lower survival, when compared to younger patients.
|Malignancy as the cause of death:|
- older patients = 21%
- younger patients = 2%
|American Journal of Transplantation|
The team determined that higher age was independently associated with mortality.
In addition, the incidences of de novo neoplasia and nonskin neoplasia were higher in older patients.
In this study, the team found that malignancy was the cause of death in 2% of patients under 60 years, compared with 21% of patients over 60 years.
Higher age and smoking were independently associated with a greater of dying of de novo neoplasia.
Dr Ignacio Herreroa's team concluded, "Older liver transplant recipients have a significantly lower survival than younger patients".
"Malignancy is responsible for this decreased survival".