The number of elderly patients undergoing liver transplantation (LT) is increasing worldwide.
The aim of the study was to evaluate the impact of recipient age exceeding 60 years on early and long-term outcomes after LT.
Material and methods. This study comprised data of 786 patients after primary LT performed at a single center between January 2005 and October 2012. Patients over and under 60 years of age were compared with respect to baseline characteristics and outcomes: postoperative mortality (90-day) and 5-year patient (PS) and graft (GS) survival. Associations between recipient age exceeding 60 years and LT results were assessed in multiple Cox regression models.
Results. Recipients older than 60 years (n=107; 13.6%) were characterized by more frequent hepatitis C virus infections (p<0.001), malignancies (p<0.001), and cardiovascular comorbidities (p<0.001); less frequent primary sclerosing cholangitis (p=0.002) and Roux-en-Y hepaticojejunostomy (p<0.001); lower Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD; p=0.043); and increased donor age (p=0.012). Fiveyear PS of older and younger recipients was 72.7% and 80.6% (p=0.538), while the corresponding rates of GS were 70.3% and 77.5% (p=0.548), respectively. Recipient age exceeding 60 years was not significantly associated with postoperative mortality (p=0.215), PS (p=0.525) and GS (p=0.572) in multivariate analyses. The list of independent predictors comprised MELD (p<0.001) for postoperative mortality; malignancies (p=0.003) and MELD (p<0.001) for PS; and malignancies (p=0.003), MELD (p<0.001) and donor age (p=0.017) for GS.
Conclusions. Despite major differences between elderly and young patients, chronological age exceeding 60 years alone should not be considered as a contraindication for LT.