Liver transplant is a life-saving treatment with 1-year and 5-year survival rates of 90% and 70%, respectively. However, organ demand continues to exceed supply, such that many patients will die waiting for an available organ. This article reviews for the general gastroenterologist the latest developments in the field to reduce waiting list mortality and maximise utilisation of available organs. The main areas covered include legislative changes in organ donation and the new ‘opt-out’ systems being rolled out in the UK, normothermic machine perfusion to optimise marginal grafts, a new national allocation system to maximise benefit from each organ and developments in patient ‘prehabilitation’ before listing. Current areas of research interest, such as immunosuppression withdrawal, are also summarised.
- liver transplantation
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NTB and JBM contributed equally.
Contributors RW planned the layout of the manuscript and reviewed/edited the contributions made form co authors. NTB wrote the section on patient optimisation. JM wrote the section on organ procurement and immunosuppression. DN wrote the section on machine perfusion. JP reviewed the final manuscript and provided comments.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.