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Surgery. 1993 Mar;113(3):279-85.

Aortic revascularization of orthotopic liver allografts: indications and long-term follow-up.

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Department of Surgery, University of Michigan Medical Center, Ann Arbor 48109-0331.



Occasionally because of certain conditions that would imperil arterial supply to a hepatic graft, it is necessary to base the arterial supply on the aorta.


Twenty orthotopic liver transplants (OLTs) in 19 patients were performed with arterial revascularization based on the aorta (Ao-OLT). In two patients the donor celiac axis was anastomosed directly to the aorta and in 18 to a conduit anastomosed to either the supraceliac (n = 10) or infrarenal (n = 8) aorta.


One thrombosis occurred 2 months after the placement of a supraceliac conduit in an adult patients, accounting for a cumulative 1-year hepatic artery patency rate of 91.7% +/- 8.0% for 16 grafts placed in 15 adults and 100% for four grafts placed in four children. In comparison, hepatic artery-based transplantation was associated with a 1-year patency rate of 92.6% +/- 1.9% for 245 adults and 94.7% +/- 5.1% for 19 children (difference not significant compared with Ao-OLT). By logistic regression analysis, the only factor independently associated with hepatic artery thrombosis was retransplantation (1-year hepatic artery patency rate 85.7% +/- 5.9% [n = 38] for retransplants vs 93.9% +/- 1.7% for primary transplantation [n = 246]; p < 0.05). For retransplantation, Ao-OLT revascularizations were superior to those based on the hepatic artery (1-year patency rate 100% [n = 11] vs 79.9% +/- 8.1% [n = 27]; p < 0.05).


Indications for Ao-OLT include poor hepatic arterial inflow, small or anomalous recipient hepatic arteries, friable or attenuated native hepatic arteries as may be present during retransplantation, and recipient age less than 1 year, especially those less than 15 kg or in whom the recipient artery is less than 3 mm in diameter. In these more precarious situations, Ao-OLT achieves patency rates similar to those of primary, uncomplicated OLT, is superior for retransplantation, and has technical advantages in the small pediatric liver recipient.

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