Gerald S. Lipshutz, M.D., M.S., and colleagues at the David Geffen School of Medicine at University of California, Los Angeles reviewed the records of patients who received their first liver transplant between 1988 and 2005. They compared 62 patients who were age 70 or older to 864 patients age age 50 to 59. Survival time was measured until death, the last known follow-up date or retransplantation.
Overall, 31 of 62 patients age 70 or older and 345 of 864 patients younger than 70 died during the study period. After one year, 73.3 percent of older patients and 79.4 percent of younger patients survived; after ten years, 39.7 percent of older patients and 45.2 percent of younger patients were still alive.
“We found no statistically significant difference in survival in the first ten years after transplantation for a group of 62 patients 70 years or older when compared with a younger cohort of 864 recipients aged 50 to 59 years with similar characteristics,” the authors of the study write. “The longest-surviving patient was 88 years old at 15 years after transplantation. One-year unadjusted survival of septuagenarians in the most recent surgical period, 2001 to 2005, was 94.4 percent.”
The researchers also analyzed 26 variables related to the recipients, donors and transplant operations to see which predicted patient deaths. Of the 26, four were associated with death rates: preoperative hospitalization, prolonged period of cold storage between liver removal and transplantation, cirrhosis caused by hepatitis C and alcohol and an increasing model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score, a measure of disease severity. An age of 70 years or older did not independently predict death in transplant patients.
MEDICA.de; Source: JAMA and Archives Journals