Living-donor liver transplantation in adults

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IntroductionThe technique of paediatric living-donor liver transplantation (LDLT) has become standardized. In adults, however, there is scope for innovation. Unlike cadaveric whole-size liver transplantation and paediatric LDLT, size matching between the liver graft and the recipient by body weight has been a major challenge in adult LDLT because it is important to provide an adequate graft mass to the recipient while leaving a sufficient mass of remnant liver in the donor to ensure donor safety.Growing pointsIn adult LDLT, liver grafts have been selected to meet graft-recipient size-matching requirements. In 1996, the Hong Kong group pioneered the use of the right-lobe grafts vein to overcome the volume insufficiency often encountered with the left-lobe liver grafts. Subsequently, the Asan group introduced modified right-lobe grafting with interposition vein grafts to drain the venous outflow of the anterior sector, thus increasing the functioning hepatocyte mass, and this group initiated dual left-lobe liver grafts to overcome both donor risk and volume insufficiency.Areas of agreement and controversyAlthough the surgical procedures for both donors and recipients are more complex for adult LDLT than for whole-organ deceased donor transplantation, the outcomes in large-volume centers are now similar. Accordingly, the indications for adult LDLT are continually being expanded.Areas timely for developing researchIn performing these procedures, it is crucial to minimize the risks of morbidity and mortality to the healthy live donor. This review focuses on the current technical development and discusses the ethical issues of adult LDLT.

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