Impact of donor infections on outcome of orthotopic liver transplantation

TitleImpact of donor infections on outcome of orthotopic liver transplantation
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsAngelis M, Cooper JT, Freeman RB
JournalLiver Transplantation
Pagination451 - 462

Abstract 10.1002/lt.500090501.abs Infection occurs when microbial agents enter the host, either through airborne transmission or by direct contact of a substance carrying the infectious agent with the host. Human body fluids, solid organs, or other tissues often are ideal vectors to support microbial agents and can transmit infections efficiently from donor to recipient. In the case of blood transfusion and tissue transplantation, the main consequence of such a transmission is infection of the recipient. However, in the case of solid-organ transplantation, and particularly for liver transplantation, donor infections are not only transmitted to the recipient, the donor infection also may affect the donated liver's preservability and subsequent function in the recipient irrespective of the systemic consequences of the infection. In addition, solid organ recipients of infected organs are less able to respond to the infectious agent because of their immunosuppressive treatment. Thus, transmission of infections from organ donor to liver recipient represents serious potential risks that must be weighed against a candidate's mortality risk without the transplant. However, the ever-increasing gap between the number of donors and those waiting for liver grafts makes consideration of every potential donor, regardless of the infection status, essential to minimize waiting list mortality. In this review, we will focus on assessing the risk of transmission of bacterial, fungal, viral, and parasitic infectious agents from cadaveric liver donors to recipients and the effect such a transmission has on liver function, morbidity, and mortality. We will also discuss risk-benefit deliberations for using organs from infected donors for certain types of recipients. These issues are critically important to maximize the use of donated organs but also minimize recipient morbidity and graft dysfunction.

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