Scientific publications

Liver transplantation in cirrhotic patients over 60 years of age

Jan 1, 1998 | Magazine: Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas

de la Peña A, Herrero JI, Sangro B, Pardo F, Hernández JL, Alvarez-Cienfuegos J, Quiroga J, Prieto J.
Liver Unit (Department of Internal Medicine), Clínica Universitaria de Navarra, Pamplona, Spain

Although life expectancy in Spain is above seventy years, age over sixty is considered a relative contraindication for liver transplantation (LT) in most centers.

The aim of this study was to assess the outcome of LT in patients over sixty years of age comparing them to patients under that age. From January 1992 to August 1995, 61 cirrhotic patients underwent LT at our institution; of them, 43 (group I) were younger than 60 years (mean +/- SEM: 51.9 +/- 0.9 years, range: 37-59) and 18 patients (group II) were 60 years or older (64.1 +/- 0.7, range: 60-71). Main pre-transplant variables (sex, etiology of liver disease, presence of hepatocarcinoma, Child-Pugh's score and renal function) were similar in both groups. The follow-up (median and range) for group I was 28 and 3-47 months, and for group II 16.5 and 3-48 months. Actuarial survival rates at one and four years post-LT were respectively 88.3% and 85.6% for group I, and 87.8% and 87.8% for the group II (p = n.s.). There were no differences between both groups regarding the incidence of rejection, major infections, neurologic complications, renal failure, pathological bone fractures, diabetes mellitus or hypertension. Nevertheless, cardiovascular complications were significantly more frequent in group II (p = 0.002) although they were not the cause of death.

In conclusion, our results show that the outcome of LT in patients over sixty years old is comparable to that observed in patients under that age. LT should not be contraindicated on the only basis of an age greater than 60 years.

CITATION Rev Esp Enferm Dig. 1998 Jan;90(1):3-14