n South African Journal of Surgery - Hypoalbuminaemia in brain-dead donors for liver transplantation : transplantation

Volume 43, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 0038-2361
  • E-ISSN: 2078-5151



Liver transplantation has become established as the treatment of choice for most patients with end-stage liver disease and is performed on a routine basis in most major centres throughout the world. The majority of donors for liver transplantation are brain-dead cadaver donors following either a severe head injury or a massive intracranial haemorrhage. <br>Potential liver donors undergo a rigid screening process before being accepted. This includes a thorough clinical examination to assess the haemodynamic status of the donor and to exclude any overt evidence of liver disease. Blood samples are also taken for viral studies to exclude HIV infection and hepatitis B and C infection, and for liver function tests to exclude liver disease or liver injury. <br>Over the years we have noted that our liver donors often had low serum albumin levels, although this has not been formally documented. A review of the literature revealed that hypoalbuminaemia associated with severe head injury has been documented previously. However the impact of brain death on serum albumin levels has not been studied previously. The present study was therefore undertaken to document serum albumin levels in brain-dead cadaver donors.

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