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HPB (Oxford). 2012 Sep;14(9):619-24. doi: 10.1111/j.1477-2574.2012.00491.x. Epub 2012 May 29.

Effects of donor steatosis on liver biochemistry and significance of body mass index in predicting steatosis.

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  • 1Department of Surgery, the University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China.



Hepatic steatosis is a major concern in living donor liver transplantation. Factors affecting hepatic functional status after a donor right hepatectomy (with the middle hepatic vein included in the graft) with a focus on changes owing to steatosis were retrospectively studied.


Donors (n = 325) were categorized into three groups: G0 (no steatosis, n = 178), G1 (< = 10% steatosis, n = 128) and G2 (>10% steatosis, n = 19). Donors with >20% steatosis were excluded. Changes in aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), bilirubin levels and prothrombin time (PT) were assessed. Factors predicting steatosis were also assessed. A liver biopsy was performed on selected donors.


The ALT level rose until day 3 in G1 and day 6 in G2 (P < 0.05). The AST level rose until day 7 in G2 (P < 0.05) but stayed unchanged in G1. The bilirubin level was higher only on day 1 in G2 (P < 0.05). By day 30, no significant difference between any groups was noted. Receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) area under the curve for body mass index (BMI) on predicting steatosis was 0.75 [confidence interval (CI) = 69-80]. Among donors with a BMI > 23.5 kg/m(2), 75% had steatosis. Five donors had >20% steatosis and were not assessed.


Using a liver with up to 20% steatosis in right liver donation, even if the middle hepatic vein is included in the graft, is safe. For Asian donors, a BMI > 23.5 kg/m(2) is a guide in deciding whether to perform a liver biopsy for steatosis.

© 2012 International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association.

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