A health study conducted by Japanese researchers shows that patients suffering from acute liver failure who received an organ transplant from a live donor had a 10-year survival rate of 73%. This survival rate, deemed “excellent,” points to the result that receiving a liver transplant from a living donor does more to affect long-term survival than what type of liver disease the patient has, the researchers said. A living donor transplant consists of a portion of a healthy liver being removed and transplanted into the patient in need.
The Japanese team looked at the records of 209 acute liver failure cases in patients from Japan who underwent a transplant procedure from a living donor. Among the results of the study, which are to be published in the medical journal Liver Transplantation’s September issue, is that one-year and five-year survival rates post-operation stood at 79% and 74%, respectively, with almost no decrease when extending that to 10 years. The patient’s age was found to have an effect on both short- and long-term risks of death, while only the long-term risks were affected by the donor’s age.
Lead researcher Yasuhiko Sugawara, of the University of Tokyo’s Graduate School of Medicine, wrote that their study demonstrated the benefit of liver transplants from living donors to the Japanese population, especially as there is less access to organs from deceased donors in the country. Hopefully Sugawara and his team’s research can lead to an even further improvement in survival rates, as well as help promote awareness about the importance of organ donation and the effect it can have on others. Before liver transplants were performed at all, the survival rate for patients with acute liver failure was only 15%, while that increased drastically to 65% after the procedure was performed.
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