Analysis of the Trend Over Time of High-Urgency Liver Transplantation Requests in Italy in the 4-Year Period 2014-2017

S Trapani, F Puoti, V Morabito, D Peritore, P Fiaschetti, A Oliveti, M Caprio, L Masiero, L Rizzato, L Lombardini, A Nanni Costa, M Cardillo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


BACKGROUND: The national protocol for the handling of high-urgency (HU) liver organ procurement for transplant is administered by the Italian National Transplant Center. In recent years, we have witnessed a change in requests to access the program. We have therefore evaluated their temporal trend, the need to change the access criteria, the percentage of transplants performed, the time of request satisfaction, and the follow-up.

METHODS: We analyzed all the liver requests for the HU program received during the 4-year period of 2014 to 2017 for adult recipients (≥18 years of age): all the variables linked to the recipient or to the donor and the organ transplants are registered in the Informative Transplant System as established by the law 91/99. In addition, intention to treat (ITT) survival rates were compared among 4 different groups: (1) patients on standard waiting lists vs (2) patients on urgency waiting lists, and (3) patients with a history of transplant in urgency vs (4) patients with a history of transplant not in urgency.

RESULTS: Out of the 370 requests included in the study, 291 (78.7%) were satisfied with liver transplantation. Seventy-nine requests (21.3%) have not been processed, but if we consider only the real failures, this percentage falls to 13.1% and the percentage of satisfied requests rises to 86.9%. The average waiting period for liver transplantation (LT) is 1.7 days and most requests (74%) are met in less than 24 hours, if we consider the hours between the registration of the request and the donor reporting . The percentage of late retransplantations is 2.1%. The clinical indication for HU-LT that appears to improve over time is hepatic artery thrombosis (82.5%). The overall 1-year patient survival is 68.3%. The overall 1-year graft survival, performed on all the patients, is 89% and all the indications for HU-LT appear to go well over time with an average survival rate greater than 85%.

CONCLUSIONS: The indications for HU-LT are changing according to the changes in the hepatologic field in recent years. The centralized management of requests has proven to be successful in optimizing responses. Urgent LT is confirmed to be lifesaving in its timeliness.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2880-2889
Number of pages10
JournalTransplantation Proceedings
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2019


  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Female
  • Graft Survival
  • Humans
  • Italy
  • Liver Transplantation/mortality
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Survival Rate
  • Tissue and Organ Procurement/methods
  • Waiting Lists


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