Our aim was to evaluate liver transplant outcomes involving donors with high macrosteatosis grafts in the obese modern liver transplant recipient population.
A high-steatosis graft was defined as donor graft macrosteatosis ≥30% on biopsy. Recipient obesity was defined as body mass index (BMI) >35 adjusted for ascites. Raw and adjusted recipient liver transplant survival were evaluated and compared between 4 cohorts: (1) high-steatosis graft in high-BMI recipient; (2) low-steatosis graft in high-BMI recipient; (3) high-steatosis graft in normal-BMI recipient; and (4) low-steatosis graft in normal-BMI recipient.
After adjustment for multiple factors, recipient high-BMI remained an independent predictor of posttransplant mortality at 30 days (P < 0.0001) and persisted at 1 year (P = 0.009). A high-steatosis graft was the strongest independent predictor of mortality at 30 days (hazard ratio 2.05, 1.66–2.53; P < 0.0001) and that effect was diminished but persistent at 1 year (1.27, 1.10–1.46; P = 0.001).
Recipient high-BMI and a high-steatosis graft are both significant independent and equally powerful predictors of mortality after modern liver transplant. High-steatosis grafts transplanted into obese recipients have the highest mortality. The increase in mortality associated with a high-steatosis graft into a normal-BMI recipient is similar in magnitude to a low-steatosis graft placed into a high-BMI recipient.