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Transplantation. 2003 Jul 15;76(1):164-9.

Background and clinical impact of tissue congestion in right-lobe living-donor liver grafts: a magnetic resonance imaging study.

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Department of Transplant Surgery, Kyoto University Hospital, Kyoto, Japan.



Although right-lobe liver grafts from living donors have been widely accepted as an option for adult patients, impact of middle hepatic vein (MHV) deprivation is a recent controversy.


Fifty recipients of right-lobe living-donor liver grafts without MHV or drainage reconstruction in anterior segment were evaluated for posttransplant tissue congestion with T2-weighted magnetic resonance imagings. Age of recipients and donors ranged from 19 to 69 (median 50) and 19 to 64 (46) years, respectively. Graft-to-recipient weight ratio ranged from 0.74% to 1.66% (1.06%). Cavoplasty was provided during right hepatic vein reconstruction to avoid anastomotic stricture.


Congestion was observed in 88% of segments V and 85% of segments VIII in the first month. Congestion positively correlated with anatomic dependency on MHV. Also, donors were significantly older in age in grafts with more congestion. However, congestion improved within several months in most grafts. Graft congestion was associated neither with morbidities nor with graft loss except for temporary correlation with ascites production in the third and fourth posttransplant weeks.


A significant proportion of right-lobe liver grafts without MHV experience morphologic congestion of the anterior segment in the early phase after transplantation, which is dependent on venous anatomy and donor age. However, the congestion spontaneously resolves in most cases. These results suggest that reconstruction of drainage vein(s) from the anterior segment is not necessary for all grafts provided good outflow through compensatory routes is secured. Additional reconstruction may be indicated in grafts with marginal size, anatomy, and quality.

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