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    Premortem heparin administration during donation after circulatory death (DCD) organ recovery is thought to optimize liver perfusion. However, premortem heparinization is not universally practiced in the United States and limited data exist regarding its utility. US registry data were accessed between January 1, 2003, and March 10, 2017, and 2 cohorts were ascertained: (1) DCD donor livers recovered for transplantation (n = 5495) and (2) liver-only adult transplant recipients of DCD livers (n = 3754). Exclusions were donor unknown heparin status (n = 40), positive donor hepatitis B surface antigen (n = 4) and hepatitis C virus (n = 120) serologies, and for the outcomes analysis, livers placed outside the United States (n = 10). Discard rates and graft outcomes were examined from cohorts 1 and 2, respectively. Of 5495 DCD livers recovered for transplant, 589 (10.7%) donors did not receive premortem heparin (no heparin) and the remaining 4906 (89.3%) received heparin (heparin). Liver discard was similar between the no heparin (30.6%) and heparin groups (30.8%; P = 0.90). Heparin status was not associated with liver discard on multivariate analysis (adjusted odds ratio, 0.97; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.80-1.18 P = 0.76). The cumulative probability of overall graft survival was lower in the no heparin group relative to the heparin group (P < 0.05), and this finding persisted on multivariate analysis. No heparin group transplants had an 18% higher hazard of overall graft failure compared with those that received heparin (adjusted hazard ratio, 1.18; 95% CI, 1.01-1.38; P < 0.05). In conclusion, organ recovery heparin administration status was not associated with liver discard. Failure to pretreat organ donors with premortem heparin correlates with worse liver transplant graft survival compared with heparin-treated livers. Copyright © 2020 by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases.


    J Reinier F Narvaez, Jing Nie, Katia Noyes, Liise K Kayler. Transplant Outcomes of Donation After Circulatory Death Livers Recovered With Versus Without Premortem Heparin Administration. Liver transplantation : official publication of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the International Liver Transplantation Society. 2020 Feb;26(2):247-255

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    PMID: 31755633

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