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Transpl Int. 2007 Nov;20(11):947-55. Epub 2007 Jul 6.

Preoperative proximal splenic artery embolization: a safe and efficacious portal decompression technique that improves the outcome of live donor liver transplantation.

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Gastroenterological surgery, Transplant and Surgical oncology, Okayama University Graduate School of Medicine, Okayama-shi, Okayama, Japan.


Terminal liver cirrhosis is associated with marked severe portal hypertension, which increases the risk of intraoperative hemorrhage and graft hyper-perfusion, especially, in small-for-size graft. In cases with developed collateral vessels, we often face difficulties in perihepatic dissection with blood stanching against bleeding during recipient hepatectomy. For aseptic preoperative portal decompression, we established the proximal splenic artery embolization (PSAE) technique. Sixty adult living donor liver transplantation recipients with viral/alcoholic hepatic failure were divided into two groups; PSAE group (n = 30) and non-PSAE (n = 30). In the PSAE group, the splenic artery was embolized proximal to the splenic hilum 12-18 h before surgery. PSAE enabled shortening of operating time, reduced blood loss, led to less need for transfusion, and significantly reduced the post-transplant portal venous velocity and ascites. PSAE was not associated with complications, e.g., splenic infarction, abscess, or portal thrombosis. Six of the non-PSAE patients required additional surgical intervention to resolve postoperative hemorrhage and three patients required secondary PSAE for arterial-steal-syndrome. The hospital mortality rate of PSAE patients (3.3%) was significantly better than that of the PSAE group (13.3%, P < 0.05). Preoperative noninvasive PSAE makes more efficient use of portal decompression; thus, it can potentially contribute to improvement of outcome.

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