Segmental Liver Transplantation from Non-Heart Beating Donors—An Early Experience with Implications for the Future

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We report our experience of pediatric liver transplantation with partial grafts from non-heart beating donors (NHBD). Controlled donors less than 40 years of age with a warm ischemia time (WI) of less than 30 min were considered for pediatric recipients. Death was declared 5 min after asystole. A super-rapid recovery technique with aortic and portal perfusion was utilized. Mean donor age was 29 years and WI 14.6 min (range 11–18). Seven children, mean age 4.9 years (0.7–11), median weight 20 kg (8.4–53) received NHBD segmental liver grafts. Diagnoses included seronegative hepatitis, neonatal sclerosing cholangitis, familial intrahepatic cholestasis, hepatoblastoma, primary hyperoxaluria and factor VII deficiency (n = 2).The grafts included four reduced and one split left lateral segments, one left lobe and one right auxiliary graft. Mean cold ischemia was 7.3 h (6.2–8.8). Complications included one pleural effusion and one biliary collection drained percutaneously. At 20 months (10–36) follow-up all children are alive and well with functioning grafts.

Donation after cardiac death is a significant source of liver grafts for adults and children with careful donor selection and short cold ischemic times.

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