Immunosuppression in Donation After Circulatory Death Liver Transplantation: Can Induction Modify Graft Survival?

Kevin Ig-Izevbekhai, David S. Goldberg, Seth J. Karp, David P. Foley, Peter L. Abt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Recipients of donation after circulatory death (DCD) LTs historically have an increased risk of graft failure. Antibody induction (AI) with antithymocyte globulin (ATG) or anti-interleukin 2 receptor (anti-IL2R) immunotherapy may decrease the incidence of graft failure by mitigating ischemia/reperfusion injury. A retrospective review of the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) database for LTs between 2002 and 2015 was conducted to determine whether ATG or anti-IL2R AI was associated with graft survival in DCD. A secondary endpoint was postoperative renal function as measured by estimated glomerular filtration rate at 6 and 12 months. Among DCD recipients, ATG (hazard ratio [HR] = 0.71; P = 0.03), but not anti-IL2R (HR = 0.82; P = 0.10), was associated with a decrease in graft failure at 3 years when compared with recipients without AI. ATG (HR = 0.90; P = 0.02) and anti-IL2R (HR = 0.94; P = 0.03) were associated with a decreased risk of graft failure in donation after brain death (DBD) liver recipients at 3 years compared with no AI. When induction regimens were compared between DCD and DBD, only ATG (HR = 1.19; P = 0.19), and not anti-IL2R (HR = 1.49; P < 0.01) or no AI (HR = 1.77; P < 0.01), was associated with similar survival between DCD and DBD. In conclusion, AI therapy with ATG was associated with improved longterm liver allograft survival in DCD compared with no AI. ATG was associated with equivalent graft survival between DCD and DBD, suggesting a beneficial role of immune cell depletion in DCD outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1154-1166
Number of pages13
JournalLiver Transplantation
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 1 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Hepatology
  • Transplantation


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