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Evaluation Within 30 Days of Referral for Liver Transplantation is Associated with Reduced Mortality: A Multicenter Analysis of Patients Referred Within the VA Health System.

John BV, Schwartz K, Scheinberg AR, Dahman B, Spector S, Deng Y, Goldberg D, Martin P, Taddei TH, Kaplan DE. Evaluation Within 30 Days of Referral for Liver Transplantation is Associated with Reduced Mortality: A Multicenter Analysis of Patients Referred Within the VA Health System. Transplantation. 2022 Jan 1; 106(1):72-84.

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Abstract:

BACKGROUND: Successful liver transplantation offers the possibility of improved survival among patients with decompensated cirrhosis. However, there is wide variability in access to care and promptness of the transplant evaluation process in the United States. METHODS: We performed a multicenter retrospective study of 1118 patients who underwent evaluation for liver transplantation at the 6 Veterans Affairs' transplant centers from 2013 to 2018. Of these, 832 patients were evaluated within 30 d and 286 > 30 d after referral. We studied the differential effects of the time from referral to evaluation on pretransplant and posttransplant mortality and transplant list dropout and explored predictors of early transplant evaluation. RESULTS: Patients in the early evaluation group had a shorter adjusted time from referral to listing by 29.5 d (95% confidence interval [CI] -50.4, -8.5, P < 0.006), and referral to transplantation by 115.1 d (95% CI -179.5, -50.7, P < 0.0001). On a multivariable Cox hazard model, evaluation within 30 d of referral was associated with a significantly lower pretransplant mortality (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 0.70, 95% CI 0.54-0.91, P < 0.01), but not associated with transplant list dropout (aHR 0.95, 95% CI 0.65-1.39, P = 0.79) or posttransplant death (aHR 1.88, 95% CI 0.72-4.9, P = 0.20). An early evaluation within 30 d was positively associated with a higher MELD at referral (aHR 1.03, 95% CI 1.01-1.06, P = 0.006) and negatively associated with distance from the transplant center (aHR 0.99, 95% CI 0.99-0.99, P = 0.045). CONCLUSIONS: Evaluation of patients referred for liver transplantation within 30 d is associated with a reduction in pretransplant mortality.





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