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Transplantation. 2003 Oct 27;76(8):1174-9.

Live-donor liver transplantation for acute-on-chronic hepatitis B liver failure.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, University of Hong Kong Medical Centre, Queen Mary Hospital, Hong Kong, China.



The survival results of patients demonstrating acute-on-chronic liver failure and undergoing live-donor liver transplantation (LDLT) have been reported to be poor. This study evaluates the survival outcomes of patients who underwent LDLT using right-lobe liver grafts for acute-on-chronic hepatitis B liver failure.


The study comprised 32 patients who demonstrated acute-on-chronic hepatitis B liver failure with mean (+/- standard error of mean) Model for End-Stage Liver Disease scores of 36+/-1.8. The mean preoperative intensive care unit stay was 2.4 days. LDLT using a right-lobe liver graft including the middle hepatic vein was performed in all patients. Oral lamivudine 100 mg daily was used for hepatitis B prophylaxis.


The patients received liver grafts that were 52%+/-2% of the estimated standard liver weight. Hospital mortality occurred in two patients, and two other patients died on follow-up. At a median follow-up of 23 months, both patient and graft survival rates were 88%. The survival results were not different from those of 49 patients who underwent right-lobe LDLT for elective conditions during the same study period (graft survival=82%, P=0.55; patient survival=84%, P=0.75). Two (6.3%) patients developed hepatitis B virus DNA breakthrough 47 and 53 months, respectively, after transplantation, but they remained well after treatment with adefovir.


Right-lobe LDLT is an effective therapeutic option for patients with acute-on-chronic hepatitis B liver failure. It results in satisfactory survival outcomes comparable to those in patients undergoing LDLT for elective conditions.

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