Living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) decreases the shortage of liver grafts for patients in need of a liver transplant, but it involves 2 patients: a recipient and a living donor. Despite the magnitude of the procedure for LDLT donors, only a few studies have investigated the effect of LDLT on the quality of life (QOL) of donors. We performed a systematic search of the MEDLINE database to identify peer-reviewed articles assessing QOL in adults after LDLT donation. Nineteen studies describing 768 unique donors met our inclusion criteria for this review. The median number of donors enrolled in each study was 30 (range = 10-143), and the median follow-up period was 10.4 months (range = 3-51.3 months). Before donation, donor QOL was significantly better than that in control adult populations across all measured QOL domains. Within the first 3 months after donation, the physical domains of QOL were significantly worse than the predonation levels, but they returned to baseline levels within 6 months for the majority of patients (80%-93%). Mental domains of QOL remained unchanged throughout the donation process. Common donor concerns after LDLT included bloating, loss of muscle tone, poor body image, and fatigue. In conclusion, according to our review of the existing literature, most LDLT donors return to their baseline QOL within 6 months. However, there is a lack of long-term data on donor QOL after LDLT, and few standardized assessments include measures of common patient concerns. Additional studies are necessary to develop a comprehensive risk profile for LDLT that includes a rigorous assessment of donor QOL.
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