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Transplant Proc. 2005 Jul-Aug;37(6):2587-8.

Back-table arterial reconstructions in liver transplantation: single-center experience.

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Istituto di Chirurgia Sperimentale, dei Trapianti e Cardiovascolare, Università degli Studi di Milano, Unità Operativa Complessa, Centro Trapianto di Fegato e Polmone, Ospedale Maggiore IRCCS, Milano, Italy.


Anatomic variations of the arterial supply to donor liver grafts often require complex hepatic artery reconstructions on the back table. Therefore, because of the additional anastomoses, there is a greater risk of arterial thrombosis and graft loss. Among the 620 orthotopic liver transplantations (OLT) in 549 adult and pediatric patients performed from June 1983 through August 2004, the rates and types of donor hepatic artery variations (HAV) and the type of reconstructions were reviewed as well as the 1- and 5-year grafts and patient survival rates after OLT. At least 1 HAV was present in 133 liver grafts (21.4%). The most frequent variations were as follows: right hepatic artery (RHA) from superior mesenteric artery (SMA) (44 cases); RHA from aorta (4 cases); and RHA from SMA, combined with a left hepatic artery (LHA) from left gastric artery (3 cases). No graft was discarded. Fifty-six of 133 (42%) HAV required arterial reconstructions, generally a termino-terminal (TT) anastomosis between RHA and splenic artery (26 cases, 46.4%). Less frequently performed anastomoses were the "fold-over" technique (15 cases, 26.8%) and the anastomosis between the RHA and the gastro-duodenal artery (6 cases, 10.6%); rare reconstructions were performed in 9 cases (16.0%). The rate of hepatic artery thrombosis was 5.4% (3 of 56 OLT) in complex hepatic artery reconstructions and 2.2% in other grafts. One- and 5-years graft and patient actuarial survival rates have been respectively 73.2%- 71.4% in hepatic artery reconstructions and 78.6%-76.8% in the absence of an artery reconstruction, respectively.

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