Adult-to-adult living donor liver transplantation is an increasingly important option for 17 000 patients awaiting liver transplantation in the United States. However, adult-to-adult living donor liver transplantation volumes peaked in 2001 (N=518), and have gradually fallen in 2002 (N=362), 2003 (N=321), and 2004 (N=323). Recent concerns about donor safety and ethical considerations have made careful analysis of donor availability and selection criteria critically important. We conducted a retrospective review of our active liver transplant recipient registry (N=251) and compared it to our living donor registry (N=231), which included all potential living donors before the selection process. Fifteen percent of recipients accounted for the majority (53%) of donor evaluations, whereas 42% of recipients did not have even a single donor evaluation. Recipient diagnosis appears to have a significant impact on donor availability, with donors rarely evaluated for patients with alcoholic cirrhosis. Careful and stringent selection criteria rule out 67% of potential donors.
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