Our experience in liver transplantation in patients over 65 yr of age.Clin Transplant 2008 Jan-Feb; 22(1):82-8CT
The aim of this study was to analyze short- and long-term results of liver transplantation (LT) in patients over 65 yr.
MATERIAL AND METHODS
Between 1996 and 2004, 386 patients underwent 415 LT at our center. The main indication for LT was post-necrotic cirrhosis in 59%, followed by hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) over cirrhosis in 33%. Half of the patients (53%) were hepatitis C virus (HCV) +. Overall, 72 patients were >65 yr of age. Actuarial survival, causes of mortality and postoperative complications were compared between groups: patients under and over 65 yr. Risk factors for poor outcome in patients over 65 yr were also analyzed.
The older group had more patients at Child A stage, more HCC as an indication for LT and more HCV (+) patients, p < 0.05. No differences were observed in donor and surgery characteristics, except for lower multi-transfusion and higher incidence of grafts with steatosis in the older group (p < 0.05). Actuarial survival at one, three, five and 10 yr was 82%, 75%, 72%, and 70% for the <65 yr group vs. 77%, 66%, 55%, and 55% for the >65 yr group (p = 0.03). Main causes of mortality in patients >65 yr were recurrence of underlying disease and medical causes. In the older age group, fewer infections (p = ns) and rejections (p = 0.017) occurred in the postoperative period. Risk factor for poor outcome in the group of patients over 65 yr in multivariate analyses was pre-LT renal insufficiency (odds ratio 3.5, p = 0.002, 95% confidence interval 1.58-7.82).
Results in patients >65 yr are comparable to those <65 yr if older LT candidates are carefully selected. Overimmunosuppression should be avoided in older candidates, as its effects could worsen the pre-existing diseases common in elderly patients.