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Transplantation. 1999 May 27;67(10):1314-9.

Auxiliary partial orthotopic living donor liver transplantation as an aid for small-for-size grafts in larger recipients.

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  • 1Department of Transplantation and Immunology, Kyoto University, Shogoin, Japan.



In countries where living donors are the only source of liver grafts, restrictions on graft size are a serious obstacle for the expansion of indications for adult recipients. To overcome this problem, auxiliary partial orthotopic liver transplants (APOLT*) was performed on the basis of the concept that the residual native liver would support the graft function until the graft had grown enough to function by itself.


APOLT as an aid for small-for-size (SFS) grafts was reviewed retrospectively to evaluate its feasibility. Between April 1995 and March 1998, 20 recipients underwent APOLT, which was indicated because of a SFS graft in 15 of them. The indication was based on the estimated graft/recipient's body weight ratio (GRWR). If the ratio was <0.8%, APOLT was performed. The other 5 patients had a graft with a GRWR >0.8% and underwent APOLT on the basis of the residual native liver supporting the graft function temporarily, 4 for supplementation of the defective enzyme in metabolic liver diseases and one for leaving the potential of the regeneration of the native liver in fulminant hepatic failure. The recipients who underwent APOLT because of a SFS graft were categorized as the SFS group, and the others were the second group.


In the SFS group, the age of the recipients ranged from 13 to 48 (median 23). The original indications of this group were fulminant hepatic failure in 2 recipients, acute deterioration of chronic liver diseases in 3, Wilson's disease in 2, biliary atresia in 4, primary biliary cirrhosis in 3, and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) in one. The actual GRWR ranged from 0.45 to 0.72 (median 0.55). The graft was implanted after resection of the left lateral segment of the native liver. Except in the first two patients, the portal vein to the residual native liver was completely transected so that all of the portal blood drained into the graft liver. This procedure was successful in 9 patients. The cause of death in the other 6 was mainly infection. The mortality rate among the recipients with signs of advanced liver failure, such as massive ascites or hepatic coma, was higher, even though APOLT was used to support the SFS graft. In the second group, in the other five recipients who underwent APOLT for other indications, one recipient with fulminant hepatic failure died of sepsis caused by the dehiscence of bilio-enteric anastomosis.


APOLT as an aid for a SFS graft is technically viable. This procedure can thus expand the indication of living donor liver transplants for adult recipients when the native liver retains some functional capability to support the grafted liver during the immediate postoperative period.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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