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Transplant Proc. 2008 Oct;40(8):2825-7. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2008.08.080.

Successful super-small-for-size graft liver transplantation by decompression of portal hypertension via splenectomy and construction of a mesocaval shunt: a case report.

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  • 1Division of Digestive and General Surgery, Niigata University Graduate School of Medical and Dental Sciences, Niigata, Japan.


We performed a successful super-small-for-size graft liver transplantation by decompressing portal hypertension via splenectomy and a mesocaval shunt. A 46-year-old woman with Child-Pugh class C liver cirrhosis associated with Wilson's disease underwent a living donor liver transplantation (LDLT). The donor had an anomalous portal vein, hepatic vein, and bile duct, so we had to use the right lateral segment for the graft. Preoperative computed tomographic (CT) volumetry showed the volume of this area to be 433 mL; graft-to-recipient weight ratio (GRWR) was 0.72; and graft-to-standard liver volume (GV/SLV) was 39.0%. However, the real volume of the resected right lateral segment was 281 g; GRWR was 0.47; and GV/SLV was 25.3%--a super-small-for-size graft. After implantation, congestion of the small graft was severe due to excessive portal hypertension. Therefore, we tried decompressing the portal vein. First, we performed splenectomy which reduced the portal pressure which remained excessive. Second, a mesocaval shunt was constructed decreasing the portal pressure from 38 to 30 cm H2O. Additionally, we initiated continuous portal injection of prostaglandin E1. The postoperative course was not smooth, but the general status slowly recovered. Over 25 cm H2O of portal hypertension was observed until postoperative day 21 when it improved. At last, the recipient was discharged on postoperative day 156. Accurate preoperative CT volumetry is important to obtain sufficient graft volume. Our case may be one of the smallest-for-size grafts that was successfully transplanted. Management of excessive portal hypertension is important for LDLT, especially using a small-for-size graft. Splenectomy and construction of a mesocaval shunt may be useful strategies to decompress the portal vein.

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