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Revista médica de Chile

Print version ISSN 0034-9887


GUERRA, Juan Francisco et al. Liver transplantation: development, learning curve and results after the first 300 cases. Rev. méd. Chile [online]. 2019, vol.147, n.8, pp.955-964. ISSN 0034-9887.


Liver transplantation (LT) is an option for people with liver failure who cannot be cured with other therapies and for some people with liver cancer.


To describe, and analyze the first 300 LT clinical results, and to establish our learning curve.

Material and Methods:

Retrospective cohort study with data obtained from a prospectively collected LT Program database. We included all LT performed at a single center from March 1994 to September 2017. The database gathered demographics, diagnosis, indications for LT, surgical aspects and postoperative courses. We constructed a cumulative summation test for learning curve (LC-CUSUM) using 30-day post-LT mortality. Mortality at 30 days, and actuarial 1-, and 5-year survival rate were analyzed.


A total of 281 patients aged 54 (0-71) years (129 women) underwent 300 LT. Ten percent of patients were younger than 18 years old. The first, second and third indications for LT were non-alcoholic steatohepatitis, chronic autoimmune hepatitis and alcoholic liver cirrhosis, respectively. Acute liver failure was the LT indication in 51 cases (17%). The overall complication rate was 71%. Infectious and biliary complications were the most common of them (47 and 31% respectively). The LC-CUSUM curve shows that the first 30 patients corresponded to the learning curve. The peri-operative mortality was 8%. Actuarial 1 and 5-year survival rates were 82 and 71.4%, respectively.


Outcome improvement of a LT program depends on the accumulation of experience after the first 30 transplants and the peri-operative mortality directly impacted long-term survival.

Keywords : Learning Curve; Liver Transplantation; Survival Analysis.

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