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PLoS One. 2011;6(11):e27366. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0027366. Epub 2011 Nov 7.

Outcomes of patients with benign liver diseases undergoing living donor versus deceased donor liver transplantation.

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  • 1Division of Liver Transplantation, West China Hospital, Sichuan University, Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China.



The number of people undergoing living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) has increased rapidly in many transplant centres. Patients considering LDLT need to know whether LDLT is riskier than deceased donor liver transplantation (DDLT). The aim of this study was to compare the outcomes of patients undergoing LDLT versus DDLT.


A total of 349 patients with benign liver diseases were recruited from 2005 to 2011 for this study. LDLT was performed in 128 patients, and DDLT was performed in 221 patients. Pre- and intra-operative variables for the two groups were compared. Statistically analysed post-operative outcomes include the postoperative incidence of complication, biliary and vascular complication, hepatitis B virus (HBV) recurrence, long-term survival rate and outcomes of emergency transplantation.


The waiting times were 22.10±15.31 days for the patients undergoing LDLT versus 35.81±29.18 days for the patients undergoing DDLT. The cold ischemia time (CIT) was 119.34±19.75 minutes for the LDLT group and 346±154.18 for DDLT group. LDLT group had higher intraoperative blood loss, but red blood cell (RBC) transfusion was not different. Similar ≥ Clavien III complications, vascular complications, hepatitis B virus (HBV) recurrence and long-term survival rates were noted. LDLT patients suffered a higher incidence of biliary complications in the early postoperative days. However, during the long-term follow-up period, biliary complication rates were similar between the two groups. The long-term survival rate of patients undergoing emergency transplantation was lower than of patients undergoing elective transplantation. However, no significant difference was observed between emergency LDLT and emergency DDLT.


Patients undergoing LDLT achieved similar outcomes to patients undergoing DDLT. Although LDLT patients may suffer a higher incidence of early biliary complications, the total biliary complication rate was similar during the long-term follow-up period.

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