Long-term Survival of 10,116 Korean Live Liver Donors

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OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the long-term mortality of Korean live liver donors using data from a national donor registry by comparing it with the mortality of the general population. SUMMARY OF BACKGROUND DATA: Although live liver donors generally have a healthy status, their long-term mortality has not been properly addressed in a large donor registry. METHODS: Data of 10,116 live liver donors were drawn from a mandated national registry of Korean live liver donors between 2000 and 2015. Matched controls were selected from the Korean National Health Insurance System-National Sample Cohort (NHIS-NSC). Median (range) follow-up of liver donors was 5.7 (0-15.9) years. Donors were 1:3 individually matched to controls by sex and 5-year age group; potential controls were from the whole NHIS-NSC (Control 1) or from NHIS-NSC after excluding people with contraindications to be organ donors (Control 2) (donor, n = 7538; Control 1, n = 28,248; Control 2, n = 28,248). RESULTS: Fifty-three deaths occurred after donation. Ten-year cumulative mortality of live liver donors was 0.9%. The most common cause of death was suicide (n = 19) followed by cancer (n = 9) and traffic accident (n = 7). In the matched control analysis, overall risk of death was significantly lower in donors than in Control 1 (P < 0.001), but higher than in Control 2 (P < 0.001). CONCLUSIONS: Liver donors have increased long-term mortality risk compared to similar healthy controls without contraindications to be organ donors. Therefore, long-term follow-up, including psychosocial support, is needed for live liver donors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)375-382
Number of pages8
JournalAnnals of Surgery
Issue number2
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2021


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