Here are my final summaries of research presented ar the 2018 International Liver Congress (ILC). In observance of April’s National Donate Life Month, it seemed fitting to choose two studies about  liver transplantation. (Note: Conference presentations  represent part of the story and unless and until these studies are published in a peer-reviewed journal, these data and conclusions are considered preliminary.)

Abstract: FRI-028 Liver transplant waitlist mortality, transplantation rates and post-liver transplant outcomes in Hispanics - P.J. Thuluvath, et al.

Summary: This study looked at 14 years of U.S. transplant records. Transplantation rates were lowest for Latinos and highest for African Americans, followed by Caucasians and Asians. Further, despite having similar post-liver transplant outcomes as Caucasians, Latinos were more likely to be removed from the waitlist. Post-liver transplant survival was lowest for African Americans.

Editorial Comments: Racial and ethnic disparities in medicine are always so discouraging. There is so much more I’d like to know about the causes of the high rate of Latinos removal from the liver transplant waitlist. April is National Minority Health Month and a good time to increase awareness about what we can do to correct health disparities. 


Abstract: PS-042 Liver transplantation in patients with multiple organ failures is feasible with good outcomes - P.J. Thuluvath, et al.

Summary: The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of multiple organ failure on liver transplant outcomes. This study evaluated UNOS data from 2002 to 2016 of 21,347 adults who received liver transplant within 30 days after being listed. Of these 14,459 (68 percent) had no organ failure, 3457 (16 percent) had one organ failure, 1349 (6 percent) had two organ failures, 1449 (7 percent) had three organ failures and 633 (3 percent) had four organ failures. 

There was a progressive decline in survival with increasing number of organ failures. However, patients with multiple organ failures who were transplanted within 30 days of listing, had very good post-liver transplant survival rates.

Editorial Remarks: There are so many reasons to be an organ donor, and this is yet another incentive.