Organ donation after circulatory death (DCD), in which transplant organs are taken from donors after ay period of no blood circulation or oxygenation, is often considered inferior to donation after brain death, in which circulation and oxygenation are maintained until organs are removed for transplantation. Currently, the use of livers from DCD donors remains controversial, particularly with donors with advanced age.
A new study of DCD liver transplantations conducted at the Cleveland Clinic from 2005 to 2014 found no significant correlation between donor age and organ survival, however. The results suggest that stringent donor and recipient selection may ameliorate the negative impact of donor age in DCD liver transplantation.
“Aged DCD organs are generally underutilized by many transplant surgeons because of the higher risk of transplant organ failure; however, by eliminating other risk factors, aged DCD organs can greatly help expand the donor pool for life-saving liver transplantation,” said Dr. Koji Hashimoto, co-author of the Liver Transplantation study.