Short- and long-term success of organs transplanted from acute methanol poisoned donors

A. López-Navidad, F. Caballero, C. González-Segura, C. Cabrer, M. A. Frutos

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review

25 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The shortage of organs for transplantation has made it necessary to extend the criteria for the selection of donors, among others including those patients who die because of toxic substances such as methanol. Methanol is a toxic which is distributed through all the systems and viscera of the organism and tends to cause a severe metabolic acidosis. It can specifically cause serious or irreversible lesions of the central nervous system (CNS) and retina, and ultimately brain death. We present our experience with 16 organ donors who died as a result of acute methanol intoxication in 10 Spanish hospitals over the last 14 yr. Patients and methods: Between October 1985 and July 1999, 16 organ donors with brain death caused by acute methanol intoxication, 13 females and three males with a mean age of 38.4 ± 7.6 yr (interval: 26-55 yr), allowed 37 elective transplants to be performed: 29 kidneys, four hearts and four livers for 37 recipients, and one urgent liver transplantation to a recipient with fulminant hepatitis. Results: The immediate postoperative period was favourable for the 38 graft recipients. None of the graft recipients presented gap anion metabolic acidosis in the immediate postoperative period, nor symptomatology or lesions of the CNS characteristic of methanol intoxication. Two patients died during the first month post-transplantation, a liver recipient and a heart recipient, at 16 and 24 days, respectively, because of acute rejection of the graft. At 1 month after transplantation 35 of the 36 recipients had been discharged from hospital with normal-functioning grafts. The last of the recipients, a kidney recipient, was discharged at 6 wk with normal-functioning graft. Actuarial survival of the graft and patient of kidney recipients at 1, 3 and 5 yr was 92.6, 77.8, and 75%, and 100, 88.9 and 83.3%, respectively; with average serum creatinines of 139.9 ± 42.9, 150.4 ± 42.8, and 164.4 ± 82.5 μmol/L, respectively. At 1 yr after transplantation the three heart recipients and two of the three liver recipients had normal-functioning graft. Conclusions: Methanol intoxication is not transferred from the donor to the recipient. The survival of the graft and kidney, heart and liver recipients using organs from donors who die because of methanol does not differ in the short- and long-term from the transplants performed with organs from donors who die from other causes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-162
JournalClinical Transplantation
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2002


  • Brain death
  • Heart transplantation
  • Kidney transplantation
  • Liver transplantation
  • Methanol poisoning
  • Organ donation

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