The actual risk of death in hepatic lobe donors for living donor liver transplantation is unknown because of the lack of a comprehensive database.
In the absence of a definitive estimate of the risk of donor death, the medical literature has become replete with anecdotal reports of donor deaths.
Many of these reports cannot be substantiated.
Donor death is one of the most important outcomes of living donor liver transplantation.
Dr James Trotter and colleagues from Colorado performed a survey of the medical and lay literature.
The research team provided a referenced source of worldwide donor deaths.
|The rate of donor death definitely related to the donor surgery is 0.2%|
The team reviewed all published articles from the medical literature on living donor liver transplantation.
The lay literature for donor deaths was also searched from 1989 to 2006.
Each death was classified as definitely, possibly, or unlikely related to donor surgery.
The team identified 19 donor deaths, and 1 additional donor in a chronic vegetative state.
The researchers noted that 13 deaths and the vegetative donor were definitely, 2 were possibly, and 4 were unlikely related to donor surgery.
The estimated rate of donor death definitely related to donor surgery is less than 0.2%.
The team found that the rate of donor death which is definitely or possibly related to the donor surgery is 0.2%.
Dr Trotter's team concludes, “This analysis provides a source document of all identifiable living liver donor deaths, and provides a better estimate of donor death rate.”
“It may provide an impetus for centers with unreported deaths to submit these outcomes to the liver transplantation community.”