Waitlist mortality of young patients with biliary atresia: Impact of allocation policy and living donor liver transplantation

Hedayatullah Esmati, Marieke van Rosmalen, Patrick F van Rheenen, Marieke T de Boer, Aad P van den Berg, Hubert P J van der Doef, Michel Rayar, Ruben H de Kleine, Robert J Porte, Vincent E de Meijer*, Henkjan J Verkade*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Patients with biliary atresia (BA) below 2 years of age in need of a transplantation largely rely on partial grafts from deceased donors (deceased donor liver transplantation [DDLT]) or living donors (living donor liver transplantation [LDLT]). Because of high waitlist mortality in especially young patients with BA, the Eurotransplant Liver Intestine Advisory Committee (ELIAC) has further prioritized patients with BA listed before their second birthday for allocation of a deceased donor liver since 2014. We evaluated whether this Eurotransplant (ET) allocation prioritization changed the waitlist mortality of young patients with BA. We used a pre-post cohort study design with the implementation of the new allocation rule between the two periods. Participants were patients with BA younger than 2 years who were listed for liver transplantation in the ET database between 2001 and 2018. Competing risk analyses were performed to assess waitlist mortality in the first 2 years after listing. We analyzed a total of 1055 patients with BA, of which 882 had been listed in the preimplementation phase (PRE) and 173 in the postimplementation phase (POST). Waitlist mortality decreased from 6.7% in PRE to 2.3% in POST (p = 0.03). Interestingly, the proportion of young patients with BA undergoing DDLT decreased from 32% to 18% after ET allocation prioritization (p = 0.001), whereas LDLT increased from 55% to 74% (p = 0.001). The proportional increase in LDLT decreased the median waitlist duration of transplanted patients from 1.5 months in PRE to 0.85 months in POST (p = 0.003). Since 2014, waitlist mortality in young patients with BA has strongly decreased in the ET region. Rather than associated with prioritized allocation of deceased donor organs, the decreased waitlist mortality was related to a higher proportion of patients undergoing LDLT.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
JournalLiver Transplantation
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 17-Jul-2022

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