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ABCD. Arquivos Brasileiros de Cirurgia Digestiva (São Paulo)

versión impresa ISSN 0102-6720

ABCD, arq. bras. cir. dig. vol.27 no.1 São Paulo enero/mar. 2014

http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0102-67202014000100013 

Original Article

Combined liver-kidney transplantation: experience at a brazilian university hospital

Francisca Jovita de Oliveira VERAS

Gustavo Rêgo COELHO

Bartolomeu Alves FEITOSA-NETO

João Batista Gadelha CERQUEIRA

Regina Célia F. Gomes GARCIA

José Huygens Parente GARCIA

1Departamento de Cirurgia, Universidade Federal do Ceará (Department of Surgery, Federal University of Ceará), Fortaleza, CE, Brazil

ABSTRACT

Background:

Combined liver-kidney transplant is a routine procedure in many transplant centers. The increase in its number coincided with the introduction in 2002 of the MELD (Model for End-stage Liver Disease) score for allocation of livers, prioritizing patients with renal dysfunction.

Aim

: To analyze the experience with combined liver-kidney transplantation in a liver transplant center in Brazil.

Method

: A retrospective review was conducted. All transplants were performed using grafts from deceased donors.

Results

: Sixteen combined liver-kidney transplantations were performed in the same period, which corresponds to 2.7% and 2.5% of the kidney and liver transplants, respectively. Fourteen patients were male (87.5 %) and two were female (12.5%). The average patients and donors age was 57.3±9.1 and 32.7±13.1, respectively. The MELD score mean was 23.6±3.67. The main cause of liver dysfunction were chronic hepatitis C virus (n=9). As for renal dysfunction, diabetic nephropathy (n=4) was the most frequent. There were six deaths, two of them by severe dysfunction of the liver graft and four by infectious causes. The 1, 3 and 5 years survival rate in patients undergoing liver-kidney transplantations was 68.8%, 57.3% and 57.3%, respectively.

Conclusion

: The survival rates achieved in this series are considered satisfactory and show that this procedure has an acceptable morbidity and survival.

Key words: Kidney transplantation; Liver transplantation; Survival

INTRODUCTION

The first combined liver-kidney transplant (CLKT) was performed in 1983 by Margreiter10, and it is a routine procedure in many transplant centers representing 1-8% of liver transplant candidates3. The increase in double transplantation coincided with the introduction in 2002 of the MELD score for allocation of livers, due to the heavily weighted serum creatinine value in its calculation, prioritizing patients with renal dysfunction. As a result there has been considerable increase in number of CLKT in the past few years2 , 5.

Regarding graft survival it seems that the liver graft has an immune protective effect on kidney graft when both organs came from the same donor5 , 9and studies indicate that there is a greater survival in dialysis-dependent patients with renal dysfunction undergoing double transplantation when compared with those who perform liver transplant alone6. Also renal dysfunction before and after liver transplant is the greatest determination of mortality4.

The most frequent indications for liver transplantation in Brazil is in relation to the hepatitis C virus-induced cirrhosis and alcohol-induced cirrhosis. Concerning the etiology of kidney failure, the main indications for renal replacement are diabetic nephropathy and chronic glomerular disease.

The aim of this article is to analyze the experience with CLKT in a liver transplant enter in Northeastern Brazil.

METHODS

A retrospective analysis was conducted on basis of selected adult patients treated between May 2002 and June 2012 with CLKT at Walter Cantídio University Hospital of the Federal University of Ceará, Brazil.

Were analyzed gender, age, MELD score at the operation, liver cold and warm ischemic times, the causes of dysfunction, mortality, follow-up in five years and the length of hospital stay. All transplants were performed using grafts from deceased donors and piggyback approach. After completion of liver transplantation, the kidney graft was implanted retroperitoneally through Gibson incision. Immunosuppressive therapy consisted of tacrolimus and prednisone in all patients.

The survival rates achieved in this series were statisticaly analysed using SPSS version 17.0 software (SPSS Inc, Chicago, III,USA). Data were expressed as mean values standard deviation (SD). Actuarial survival curves were calculated using Kaplan-Meier method.

RESULTS

In the period, were performed 616 kidney transplants and 674 liver transplants. Sixteen CLKT were done in the same period, which corresponds to 2.7% and 2.5% of the kidney and liver transplantation. Fourteen patients were male (87.5 %) and two were female (12.5%). The average patients and donors age was 57.3±9.1 and 32.7±13.1, respectively. The MELD (Model for End-stage Liver Disease) score mean was 23.6±3.67 (range 20-35). Causes of liver dysfunction were chronic hepatitis C virus (n=9), alcohol (n=4), cryptogenic (n=2) and polycystic liver disease (n=1). As for renal dysfunction, diabetic nephropathy (n=4), hypertensive nephropathy (n=2), an association between diabetic and hypertensive nephrosclerosis (n=2), lupus nephritis (n=1), polycystic kidney disease (n=2), nonspecific glomerulonephritis (n=2), and renal failure of unknown etiology (n=3). The mean liver cold and warm ischemic time was 310.6±75.7 and 29.2 ± 7.9 minutes, respectively. The average length of hospital stay was 34 ± 18 days (Table 1).

TABLE 1 General CLKT parameters 

Parameters Mean
Recipient age (yr) 57.3±9.1
Donor age (yr) 32.7±13.1
MELD 23.6±3.67
Liver cold ischemic time (min) 310.6±75.7
Liver warm ischemic time (min) 29.2±7.9
Hospital stay (days) 34.0±18.0

Surgical complications occurred in two patients; one had biliary fistula and the other urinary fistula, both treated conservatively. Two patients had recurrence of hepatitis C virus. In two cases was observed acute renal allograft dysfunction. Postoperative dialysis was required in only two patients. There were six deaths, two of them by severe dysfunction of the liver graft and four by infectious causes. The one, three and five years survival rate in patients undergoing CLKT was 68.8%, 57.3% and 57.3%, respectively (Figure 1).

FIGURE 1 Overall patients survival 

DISCUSSION

After 10 years of establishment of the Liver Transplantation Program at Walter Cantídio University Hospital of the Federal University of Ceará, this is the first CLKT series from liver transplantation program, published in the international literature. The survival rates achieved are considered satisfactory when compared to data published by the most important transplant centers in USA and Europe7 and it shows that this procedure has an acceptable morbidity and survival. Recognition of negative effects of renal failure associated with end-stage liver disease in outcome of liver transplant1 encourages transplantation teams to perform the CLKT, seeking improvement in patients survival. It is known that this choice should be meticulous, since the gains in survival of patients undergoing CLKT are observed in patients with severe renal disease (dialysis-dependent for >3 months)8.

CONCLUSION

The survival rates achieved in this series are considered satisfactory and show that this procedure has an acceptable morbidity and survival.

REFERENCES

1. Margreiter R, Kramar R, Huber C, Steiner E, Niederwieser D, Judmaier G, et al. Combined liver and Kidney transplantation. The Lancet 1984;1:1077-8. [ Links ]

2. Davis CL, Gonwa TA, Wilkinson AH. Identification of patients best suited for combined liver-kidney transplantation: part II. Liver transpl. 2002;8:193-211. [ Links ]

3. Davis CL, Feng S, Sung R, et al. Simultaneos liver-Kidney transplantation: evaluation to decision making. Am J Transplant. 2007;7:1702-9. [ Links ]

4. Fagundes C, Guevara M. Combined liver and kidney transplantation. In: Ortiz J. Understanding the Complexities of kidney transplantation. Intech, Sept 2011. [ Links ]

5. Margreiter R, Konigsrainer A, et al. Our Experience with combined liver-kidney transplantation: an update. Transplant Proc. 2002; 34:2491-2492. [ Links ]

6. Gonwa TA, McBride MA, Anderson K, Mai ML, Wadei H, Ahsan N. Continued influence of preoperative renal function on outcome of orthotopic liver transplant (OLTX) in the US: where will MELD lead? Am J Transplant. 2006;6:2651-9. [ Links ]

7. Eason JD, Gonwa TA, Davis CL, et al. Proceedings of Consensus Conference on Simultaneous Liver Kidney Transplantation (SLK). Am J Transplant. 2008;8:2243-2251. [ Links ]

8. Hibi T, Sageshima J, Molina E, Ciancio G, Nishida S, Chen L, at al. Predisposing Factors of Diminished Survival in Simultaneous Liver/Kidney Transplantation. Am J Transplant. 2012;12: 2966-2973. [ Links ]

9. Bahirwani R, Reddy KR. Outcomes after liver transplantation: chronic kidney disease. Liver Transpl. 2009;15 Suppl 2:S70-74. [ Links ]

10. Locke JE, Warren DS, Singer AL, Singer AL, Segev DL, Simpkins CE, et al. Declining outcomes in simultaneous liver-kidney transplantation in the MELD era: ineffective usage of renal allografts. Transplantation. 2008;85:935-942. [ Links ]

Received: August 15, 2013; Accepted: December 12, 2013

Correspondence: Francisca Jovita de Oliveira Veras E-mail: jovitaveras@gmail.com

Financial source: none

Conflicts of interest: none