NYMC Faculty Publications

Outcomes of Liver Transplantation Using Machine Perfusion in Donation After Cardiac Death vs Brain Death in the US

Author Type(s)

Resident/Fellow, Faculty

Journal Title

Journal of the American College of Surgeons

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Publication Date




Second Department



BACKGROUND: Liver transplant (LT) outcomes using machine perfusion (MP) in donation after brain death (DBD) is promising, but the LT outcomes of MP in donation after cardiac death (DCD) is limited in the US. The aim of this study was to compare LT outcomes of MP between DCD and DBD. STUDY DESIGN: We analyzed data from the United Network for Organ Sharing between 2016 and 2021 among adult LT recipients. Propensity score matching was performed to assess the outcomes between DCD and DBD. RESULTS: A total of 380 LTs (295 from DBD and 85 from DCD) were performed using MP. When compared with DBD, DCD group had older median recipient age (61 vs 58 years, p = 0.03), higher prevalence of diabetes (41% vs 28%, p = 0.02), lower model for end-stage liver disease score (17 vs 22, p < 0.01), longer wait time (276 vs 143 days, p < 0.01) and younger median donor age (40 vs 51 years, p < 0.01). The most common primary diagnosis was alcohol-related liver disease, and hepatocellular carcinoma was more common in the DCD group (22% vs 13%). On survival analysis, 1-year overall/graft survivals (DCD 95.4% vs DBD 92.1%, p = 0.54; DCD 91.7% vs DBD 89.8%, p = 0.86) were the same. After propensity score matching, overall/graft survivals were the same. In Cox regression analysis, DCD was not an independent risk factor of mortality (hazard ratio 0.80; 95% CI 0.25 to 2.52; p = 0.70) and graft failure (hazard ratio 0.58; 95% CI 0.17 to 1.97; p = 0.38). CONCLUSIONS: In transplant recipients who underwent LT using MP, posttransplant outcomes of overall and graft survival were similar among DCD and DBD cohorts.