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J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2006 Mar;21(3):572-4.

Asian contribution to living donor liver transplantation.

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Division of Hepatobiliary Surgery and Liver Transplantation, Department of Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.


Although the shortage of brain-dead donor organs is a worldwide problem, the situation is especially serious in Asia because of various cultural and social reasons, and cadaveric organ donation remains below 5 per million population per year. Living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) could provide an alternative for liver graft for patients with acute and chronic end-stage liver disease. This article introduces the important contributions to the development of LDLT by the leading Asian liver transplantation centers. The first successful adult LDLT using a left-lobe graft was reported by Makuuchi et al. from Japan in 1994. To overcome the barrier of graft-size matching for adult patients with use of a left-lobe graft, a trial of adult LDLT using a right-lobe graft with middle hepatic vein was reported with satisfactory outcome by Fan et al. from Hong Kong in 1997. Despite the impressive results of right-lobe LDLT, considerable debate persists concerning donor safety. Lee et al. from Korea initiated modified right-lobe liver grafting with interposition vein grafts to drain anterior segment and two left-lobe liver grafting to overcome graft-size insufficiency and to ensure donor safety in 1999 and 2000, respectively. In addition to technical innovations, indications for liver transplantation have been developed by Asian centers as LDLT activity has increased.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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