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Radiographics. 2004 Jul-Aug;24(4):957-67.

Evaluation of living liver transplant donors: method for precise anatomic definition by using a dedicated contrast-enhanced MR imaging protocol.

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  • 1Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, 55 Fruit St, White 270, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


Liver transplantation from a living donor involves removal of part of the donor liver in a fashion that does not endanger its vascular supply or metabolic function. The radiologist plays an important role in evaluation of the living donor to define the conditions under which graft donation is contraindicated and to identify anatomic variations that may alter the surgical approach. In the past, diagnostic work-up of the donor involved costly and invasive tests. Currently, dynamic contrast material-enhanced computed tomography and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging are the imaging tests performed, each of which has advantages and limitations. MR imaging performed with liver-specific and extravascular contrast agents may be used as a single imaging test for comprehensive noninvasive evaluation of living liver transplant donors. MR imaging provides valuable information about variations in the vascular and biliary anatomy and allows evaluation of the hepatic parenchyma for diffuse or focal abnormalities.

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