Background: Data about the influence of race on survival after liver transplantation (LT) are limited and conflicting. This study was undertaken to evaluate longterm outcomes for LT in African-American (AA) recipients compared with recipients of other races and to determine factors responsible for any observed differences. Study Design: This was a retrospective case series. Among 2,728 adult patients who underwent primary LT from 1984 to 2007, 1,566 (57%) were Caucasian, 761 (28%) were Hispanic, 290 (11%) were Asian, and 111 (4%) were AA. The primary immunosuppressive agent was cyclosporine from 1984 to 1993 (Era I, n = 817) and tacrolimus from 1994 to 2007 (Era II, n = 1922). Results: In Era I, the 1-, 5- and 10-year patient and graft survival figures for AA and Asian recipients were considerably lower compared with Caucasian and Hispanic recipients. In Era II, patient and graft survival figures were comparable for all groups. Statistically significant independent predictors of diminished patient survival included LT in Era I; recipient or donor age greater than 55 years; and liver failure secondary to cryptogenic cirrhosis, malignancy, or hepatitis C. Predictors of graft failure included LT in Era I; recipient or donor age greater than 55 years; prolonged cold ischemia time; liver failure secondary to hepatitis C, cryptogenic cirrhosis, or malignancy; and acute rejection. Patient and graft survival were independent of race in both eras. Conclusions: This is the first study to demonstrate equivalent longterm results after LT for AA and other races. Modern immunosuppression with tacrolimus substantially lowered rejection rates and improved graft and patient survival after LT.
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