This study aimed to compare trends in use of drug overdose (DO) donors in adult versus pediatric liver transplants and the utilization of split liver transplantation in this donor population.
The United Network for Organ Sharing database was reviewed for deceased donor liver transplants from March 2002 to December 2017. Recipients were categorized by donor mechanism of death. Donor splitting criteria was defined as age <40 y, single vasopressor or less, transaminases no >3 times the normal limit, and body mass index ≤ 28 kg/m2.
Adult liver transplants from DO donors increased from 2% in 2002 to 15% in 2017, while pediatric liver transplants from DO donors only increased from <1% to 3% in the same time. While 28% of DO donors met splitting criteria, only 3% of those meeting splitting criteria were used as a split graft. Both pediatric and adult recipients of DO donor livers achieved excellent patient and graft survival.
DO donors are underutilized in pediatric liver transplantation. Increased splitting of DO donor livers could significantly decrease, if not eliminate, the pediatric liver waiting list.