Liver transplant recipients older than 60 years have lower survival and higher incidence of malignancy.
Older age is not considered a contraindication for liver transplantation, but age-related morbidity may be a cause of mortality. Survival and the incidence of the main post-transplant complications were assessed in 111 adult liver transplant recipients.
They were divided in two groups according to their age (patients younger than 60 years, n=54; patients older than 60 years, n=57) and both groups were compared. Older patients were more frequently transplanted for hepatitis C (p= 0.03) and hepatocellular carcinoma (p= 0.05) and their liver disease was less advanced (Child-Pugh and MELD scores were significantly lower; p=0.004 and p=0.05, respectively). After transplantation, older patients had a significantly lower survival (p=0.02). Higher age was independently associated with mortality (hazard ratio for each 10-year increase: 2.1; 95% confidence interval: 1.1- 4.0; p=0.02). The incidence of de novo neoplasia and nonskin neoplasia were higher in older patients (p=0.02 and p =0.007, respectively). Malignancy was the cause of death in one patient younger than 60 years and in 12 patients older than 60 years (p =0.002).
In multivariate analysis, a higher age and smoking were independently associated with a higher risk of dying of de novo neoplasia. In conclusion, older liver transplant recipients have a significantly lower survival than younger patients. Malignancy is responsible for this decreased survival.
CITATION Am J Transplant. 2003 Nov;3(11):1407-12