A new study found that sexual function in adult living
donors was lower at the evaluation phase and at three months following
liver transplantation. Results published in Liver Transplantation,
a journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases
and the International Liver Transplantation Society, suggest that donor
education prior to surgery may improve recovery and ease concerns about
sexual function following the transplant.
Living liver donors provide a healthy portion of
their liver to an individual with end-stage liver disease. These donors
make a personal sacrifice to help save another individual from certain
death. Much of the medical literature focuses on the health-related
quality of life of donors, but limited evidence is available regarding
sexual function. A prior single-center study found that nearly 50% of
donors reported a worsening of sexual function one week to one month
following donation, returning to normal at three months post-operation.
“To further knowledge in this important area, our
study sought to identify the extent of sexual concerns for liver
donors,” said lead author Dr. Andrea DiMartini with Western Psychiatric
Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, Pa. “Our investigation examined
sexual functioning of liver donors before and after donation using data
from a multi-site investigation, known as the Adult-to-Adult Living
Donor Liver Transplantation Cohort Study (A2ALL).
For this study the team examined the sexual function
of 208 liver donors and any changes that may occur during the first
year following donation using self-reported surveys. A group of 155
non-donors also completed the survey that included questions regarding
sexual desire, satisfaction, orgasm, and erectile function in men.
Analyses show that donor sexual performance was lower
at the time of evaluation and three months after transplant surgery
than at one year following donation. Researchers found that during the
early recovery phase, abdominal pain was linked to difficulty reaching
orgasm; concerns over appearance was associated with lower sexual
desire; and not feeling back to normal correlated to a dissatisfaction
with sexual life.
Dr. DiMartini concludes, “The goal of all donor teams
is to create a positive experience, both mentally and physically, and
reduce stress for organ donors. Our findings suggest that providing
more information to donors about what to expect with sexual function
will help ease concerns and prepare themselves for the early days
following liver transplant surgery.”
This study was funded in part by the National
Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases (grants
U01-DK62444, U01-DK62467, U01-DK62483, U01-DK62484, U01-DK62494,
U01-DK62496, U01-DK62498, U01-DK62505, U01-DK62531, U01-DK085587,
U01-DK85515, and U01-DK62536), the Health Resources and Services
Administration (HRSA), and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons
Full citation: “Patterns and Predictors of
Sexual Function after Liver Donation: the Adult to Adult Living Donor
Liver Transplantation Cohort Study (A2ALL).” AF DiMartini, MA Dew, Z
Butt, MA Simpson, DP Ladner, AR Smith, P Hill-Callahan and BW Gillespie.
Liver Transplantation; (DOI: 10.1002/lt.24108).
Author Contact: Media wishing to speak with Dr. DiMartini may contact Jenya Abramovich with Arbor Research at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the Journal
Liver Transplantation is published by Wiley on behalf of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases and the International Liver Transplantation Society.
Since the first application of liver transplantation in a clinical
situation was reported more than twenty years ago, there has been a
great deal of growth in this field and more is anticipated. As an
official publication of the AASLD and the ILTS,
Liver Transplantation delivers current, peer-reviewed articles on
surgical techniques, clinical investigations and drug research — the
information necessary to keep abreast of this evolving specialty. For
more information, please visit http://wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/lt.
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