Sun, Mar 24, 2013 - Page 3 News List

Liver transplant capacities up to US standards: bureau

Staff writer, with CNA

Liver transplantation technology in Taiwan has advanced to a level similar to that of the US, which leads the world in this field, according to a Bureau of National Health Insurance (NHI) official.

The three-year survival rate of patients who have undergone a liver transplant reached about 80 percent in both living-donor and deceased-donor transplant cases, NHI division chief Lin Li-jen (林立人) said, citing bureau data on 2,623 liver transplant patients in the 10-year period between 2001 and 2011.

In comparison, the survival rate of patients with living-donor liver transplants stood at 84.7 percent in the US, and the rate for those with deceased-donor liver transplants stood at 79.9 percent, Lin said.

The five-year survival rate for all liver transplant patients in Taiwan is about 76 percent, compared with 80.8 percent for living-donor liver transplant patients and 73.6 percent for deceased-donor transplants in the US, Lin said.

The 10-year survival rate in Taiwan reached 70 percent, while that in the US was 67.4 percent in the case of living donors and 60.4 percent in the case of deceased donors, Lin said.

NHI data on the survival rate of living donor liver transplants and deceased donor liver transplants is not available separately, Lin added.

According to the American Liver Foundation, nearly 6,500 liver transplants were performed in the US in 2005, and the number continues to rise.

Liver transplant patients have an approximately 86 percent one-year and 78 percent three-year survival rate, the foundation said.

The report indicated that there were 418 liver transplant patients in the nation from 2001 to 2004.

The number of liver transplant patients increased to 978 in 2005-2008, and further to 1,227 in 2009-2011, the report said.

The health insurance bureau has also released data showing that although 21 hospitals nationwide had performed liver transplants in the period from 2001 to 2011, most of the transplants were conducted at the Kaohsiung Chang Gung Hospital, the Linkou Chang Gung Hospital in New Taipei City (新北市) and the National Taiwan University Hospital in Taipei.

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