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Transplantation. 2000 Jul 15;70(1):152-7.

Living donor liver transplantation for fulminant hepatic failure.

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  • 1Department of Transplantation Surgery, Kyoto University Hospital, Japan.



Living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) was originally indicated only for elective cases of pediatric patients with end-stage liver disease. In Japan, however, where liver transplantation from brain-dead donor is performed very rarely, this indication has been expanded to emergency cases such as fulminant hepatic failure (FHF).


Thirty-eight patients with FHF were treated between May 1992 and April 1999. Causes of acute liver failure were non-A, non-B hepatitis in 27 patients, hepatitis B virus in seven, and hepatitis A virus, Epstein-Barr virus, herpes simplex virus, and chrome poisoning in one each.


Four patients did not undergo LDLT because of severe brain damage or combined multiple organ failure. The remaining 34 patients underwent a total of 36 LDLTs, including two retransplantations; 16 children received transplants of 17 lateral segments, three children and eight adults transplants of 11 left lobes, and seven adults transplants of eight right lobes. A total of 15 recipients died, four of primary graft dysfunction, three of refractory acute rejection, two of pneumonia, and one each of ductopenic rejection, sepsis, aplastic anemis, recurrence of Epstein-Barr virus hepatitis, multiple organ failure by chrome poisoning, and unknown hepatic failure. Primary graft dysfunction developed in adult recipients with small-for-size graft transplants, whereas refractory acute rejection and ductopenic rejection occurred in six grafts each of children with non-A, non-B FHF.


LDLT can be safely expanded to cases of FHF in adult patients. Primary graft dysfunction in adult recipients with small-for-size left lobe grafts can be overcome by using right lobes. However, refractory acute rejection and ductopenic rejection in children remain a major problem.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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