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Surgery. 2013 May;153(5):619-26. doi: 10.1016/j.surg.2012.11.020. Epub 2013 Feb 13.

Right hepatectomy for living donation: role of remnant liver volume in predicting hepatic dysfunction and complications.

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Recanati/Miller Transplantation Institute, Mount Sinai Medical Center, New York, NY 10029, USA.



Extensive attention has been placed on remnant liver volume (RLV) above other factors to ensure donor safety.


We performed a retrospective review of 137 right hepatectomies in live donors between June 1999 and November 2010.


Median right lobe volume was 1,029 cm(3), which correlated with its actual weight (r = 0.63, P < .01); median RLV was 548 cm(3). Of the donors, 32 (24%) developed postoperative hepatic dysfunction (bilirubin >3 mg/dL or prothrombin time >18 s on postoperative day 4). RLV did not predict postoperative hepatic dysfunction (P = .9), but it was associated with peak international normalized ratio (INR) (P = .04). Donor age and male gender were predictors of increased bilirubin at postoperative day 4 (age, P = .03; gender, P = .02). Of the donors, 45 (33%) experienced complications, and 24 donors had RLVs <30%; 42% experienced complications compared to 31% of donors whose RLVs were greater than 30% (P = .3). Cell-saver utilization and aspartate-aminotransferase (AST) levels (OR = 3) were associated with complications. Volumetric assessment can predict RLV accurately.


Although no demonstrable association between RLV <30% and complications was found, an RLV of 30% should remain the threshold for donor safety. Age and gender should be balanced in donors with a near threshold RLV of 30%. Surgical complexity, suggested by the need for intraoperative autoinfusion of blood and postoperative levels of AST, remained the independent predictor of complications.

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