Impact of Donor Liver Macrovesicular Steatosis on Deceased Donor Yield and Posttransplant Outcome

Allison J. Kwong, W. Ray Kim, John Lake, Peter G. Stock, Connie J. Wang, James Wetmore, Marc L. Melcher, Andrew Wey, Nicholas Salkowski, Jon J. Snyder, Ajay K Israni

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background. The Scientific Registry of Transplant Recipients (SRTR) had not traditionally considered biopsy results in risk-adjustment models, yet biopsy results may influence outcomes and thus decisions regarding organ acceptance. Methods. Using SRTR data, which includes data on all donors, waitlisted candidates, and transplant recipients in the United States, we assessed (1) the impact of macrovesicular steatosis on deceased donor yield (defined as number of livers transplanted per donor) and 1-y posttransplant graft failure and (2) the effect of incorporating this variable into existing SRTR risk-adjustment models. Results. There were 21 559 donors with any recovered organ and 17 801 liver transplant recipients included for analysis. Increasing levels of macrovesicular steatosis on donor liver biopsy predicted lower organ yield: ≥31% macrovesicular steatosis on liver biopsy was associated with 87% to 95% lower odds of utilization, with 55% of these livers being discarded. The hazard ratio for graft failure with these livers was 1.53, compared with those with no pretransplant liver biopsy and 0% to 10% steatosis. There was minimal change on organ procurement organization-specific deceased donor yield or program-specific posttransplant outcome assessments when macrovesicular steatosis was added to the risk-adjustment models. Conclusions. Donor livers with macrovesicular steatosis are disproportionately not transplanted relative to their risk for graft failure. To avoid undue risk aversion, SRTR now accounts for macrovesicular steatosis in the SRTR risk-adjustment models to help facilitate use of these higher-risk organs. Increased recognition of this variable may also encourage further efforts to standardize the reporting of liver biopsy results.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-409
Number of pages5
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1 2023

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Publisher Copyright:
© Copyright 2022 Wolters Kluwer Health, Inc. Unauthorized reproduction of this article is prohibited.

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural


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