Trends in deceased donor liver enzymes prior to transplant: The impact on graft selection and outcomes

Melissa G. Kaltenbach, Michael O. Harhay, Peter L. Abt, David S. Goldberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


We sought to characterize the trend in alanine aminotransferase elevations prior to transplant and the impact on the pattern of enzyme elevations on organ utilization and graft function. We performed a retrospective cohort study of UNOS data on all deceased donors between 2007 and 2016. Serum alanine aminotransferase (ALT) was categorized into six study groups with peak ALT < 499, 500-749, 750-999, 1000-1999, 2000-2999, and >3000 IU/L. The change from peak ALT to terminal ALT prior to transplant was categorized as no change/increasing at time transplant, 0.1-9.9%, 10-24.9%, 25-49.9%, 50-74.9% and >75% change. In multivariable models evaluating liver utilization, the interaction between peak ALT and percent change in ALT was most pronounced at the highest peak ALT levels, where liver utilization varied markedly as a function of percentage drop from peak to terminal ALT. There was no increased risk of graft failure based on peak ALT. Markers of ischemic liver injury and recovery are significantly associated with liver utilization, yet among transplanted livers they were not associated with graft outcomes and may represent an area to expand the donor pool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)213-219
Number of pages7
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2020


  • clinical research/practice
  • donors and donation: deceased
  • graft survival
  • liver allograft function/dysfunction
  • liver transplantation/hepatology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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