Select utilization of obese donors in living donor liver transplantation: Implications for the donor pool

J. Moss, D. Lapointe-Rudow, J. F. Renz, M. Kinkhabwala, L. M. Dove, P. J. Gaglio, J. C. Emond, R. S. Brown

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


Living donor liver transplantation evolved in response to donor shortage. Current guidelines recommend potential living donors (LD) have a body mass index (BMI) <30. With the current obesity epidemic, locating nonobese LD is difficult. From September 1999 to August 2003, 68 LD with normal liver function test (LFTs) and without significant comorbidities underwent donor hepatectomy at our center. Post-operative complications were collected, including wound infection, pneumonia, hernia, fever, ileus, biliary leak, biliary stricture, thrombosis, bleeding, hepatic dysfunction, thrombocytopenia, deep venous thrombosis, pulmonary embolism, difficult to control pain, depression and anxiety. Complication rates for LD with BMI >30 (n = 16) and BMI <30 (n = 52) were compared. The incidence of wound infection increased with BMI, 4% for nonobese and 25% for obese LD (p = 0.024). There were no statistically significant differences for all other complications. No LD died. Recipient survival was 100% with obese LD and 80% with nonobese LD (p = 0.1). Select donors with a BMI >30 may undergo donor hepatectomy with acceptable morbidity and excellent recipient results. Updating current guidelines to include select LD with BMI >30 has the potential to safely increase the donor pool.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2974-2981
Number of pages8
JournalAmerican Journal of Transplantation
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2005
Externally publishedYes


  • Complications
  • Liver transplant
  • Living donor
  • Obesity
  • Outcomes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Transplantation
  • Pharmacology (medical)


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