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Hepatobiliary Pancreat Dis Int. 2006 May;5(2):173-9.

Modified techniques for adult-to-adult living donor liver transplantation.

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Liver Transplantation Division, Department of Surgery, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu 610041, China.



Because of critical organ shortage, transplant professionals have utilized living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) in recent years. We summarized our experience in adult-to- adult LDLT with grafts of right liver lobe by a modified technique.


From January 2002 to August 2005, 24 adult patients underwent living donor liver transplantation with grafts of the right liver lobe at West China Hospital, Sichuan University, China. Twenty-two patients underwent modified procedures designed to improve the reconstruction of the right hepatic vein and the tributaries of the middle hepatic vein by interposing a great saphenous vein (GSV) graft and the anastomosis of the hepatic arteries and bile ducts.


No severe complications and death occurred in all donors. In the first 2 patients, (patients 1 and 2), operative procedure was not modified. One patient suffered from "small-for-size syndrome" and the other died of sepsis with progressive deterioration of graft function. In the rest 22 patients (patients 3 to 24), however, the procedure of venous reconstruction was modified, and better results were obtained. Complications occurred in 7 recipients including acute rejection (2 patients), hepatic artery thrombosis (1), bile leakage (1), intestinal bleeding (1), left subphrenic abscess (1), and pulmonary infection (1). One patient with pulmonary infection died of multiple organ failure (MOF). The 22 patients underwent direct anastomosis of the right hepatic vein to the inferior vena cava (IVC), 9 direct anastomosis plus the reconstruction of the right inferior hepatic vein, and 10 direct anastomosis plus the reconstruction of the tributaries of the middle hepatic vein by interposing a GSV graft to provide sufficient venous outflow. Trifurcation of the portal vein was met in 3 patients. Venoplasty or separate anastomosis was performed. The ratio of graft to recipient body weight ranged from 0.72% to 1.17%. Among these patients, 19 had the ratio <1.0% and 4 <0.8%, and the ratio of graft weight to recipient standard liver volume was between 31.86% and 62.48%. Among these patients, 10 had the ratio <50% and 2 <40%. No "small-for-size syndrome" occurred in the 22 recipients who were subjected to modified procedures.


With the modified surgical techniques for the reconstruction of the hepatic vein to obtain an adequate outflow and provide a sufficient functioning liver mass, living donor liver graft in adults using the right lobe can be safe to prevent the "small-for-size syndrome".

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