McElroy LM, Daud A, Davis AE, Lapin B, Baker T, Abecassis MM, Levitsky J, Holl JL, Ladner DP. A meta-analysis of complications following deceased donor liver transplant. Am J Surg. 2014 Oct;208(4):605-18. doi: 10.1016/j.amjsurg.2014.06.006

BACKGROUND:  Liver transplantation is a complex surgery associated with high rates of postoperative complications. While national outcomes data are available, national rates of most complications are unknown.

DATA SOURCES: A systematic review of the literature reporting rates of postoperative complications between 2002 and 2012 was performed. A cohort of 29,227 deceased donor liver transplant recipients from 74 studies was used to calculate pooled incidences for 17 major postoperative complications.

CONCLUSIONS:  This is the first comprehensive review of postoperative complications after liver transplantation and can serve as a guide for transplant and nontransplant clinicians. Efforts to collect national data on complications, such as through the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program, would improve the ability to provide patients with informed consent, serve as a tool for individual center performance monitoring, and provide a central source against which to measure interventions aimed at improving patient care.

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