Honoring the contract with our patients: outcome after repeated re-transplantation of the liver

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Susumu Eguchi
  • Akihiko Soyama
  • Hynek Mergental
  • Aad P van den Berg
  • Rene Scheenstra
  • And 2 others
  • Robert J Porte
  • Maarten J H Slooff

Colleges, School and Institutes


The aim of this study was to describe the outcome after repeated orthotopic liver re-transplantations (re-OLT) in a population of adults and children, and to determine whether such repeated re-transplantations are an effective treatment or should be considered futile. In a consecutive series of 867 patients, 628 adults and 239 children, who underwent OLT at the University Medical Center Groningen, 23 patients (2.7%), 10 adults and 13 children, underwent more than two re-transplantations of the liver between March 1979 and October 2008. All 23 patients had a second re-transplantation, and seven of them received a third transplant. The overall actuarial patient survival at 1, 5, and 10 yr after primary OLT was 96%, 87%, and 71%, respectively. The overall actuarial patient survival after the second re-OLT was 78%, 73%, and 67%, respectively. Sixteen patients (70%) survived long term. However, for the 23 repeated re-transplantation patients, 76 grafts were used. In a simulation calculation, it was shown that honoring the initial commitment to the 23 patients ultimately led to more surviving patients and less death than if treatment of the original patients was stopped after the first re-transplantation and the remaining grafts were allocated to other primary graft recipients.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)E211-8
JournalClinical transplantation
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 5 Jan 2011


  • Adolescent, Adult, Child, Child, Preschool, Female, Graft Rejection, Graft Survival, Humans, Liver Transplantation, Male, Middle Aged, Perioperative Care, Reoperation, Survival Rate, Treatment Outcome, Young Adult