Adult-to-Adult Living Donor Liver Transplantation Using Extended Right Lobe Grafts

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The authors report their experience with living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) using extended right lobe grafts for adult patients under high-urgency situations.

Summary Background Data

The efficacy of LDLT in the treatment of children has been established. The major limitation of adult-to-adult LDLT is the adequacy of the graft size. A left lobe graft from a relatively small volunteer donor will not meet the metabolic demand of a larger recipient.


From May 1996 to November 1996, seven LDLTs, using extended right lobe grafts, were performed under high-urgency situations. All recipients were in intensive care units before transplantation with five having acute renal failure, three on mechanical ventilation, and all with hepatic encephalopathy. The median body weight for the donors and recipients was 58 kg (range, 41-84 kg) and 65 kg (range, 53-90 kg), respectively. The body weights of four donors were less than those of the corresponding recipients, and the lowest donor-to-recipient body weight ratio was 0.62:1. The extended right lobe graft was chosen because the left lobe volume was <40% of the ideal liver mass of the recipient.


Median blood loss for the donors was 900 mL (range, 700-1600 mL) and hospital stay was 19 days (range, 8-22 days). Homologous blood transfusion was not required. Two donors had complications (one incisional hernia and one bile duct stricture) requiring reoperation after discharge. All were well with normal liver function 5 to 10 months after surgery. The graft weight ranged from 490 g to 1140 g. All grafts showed immediate function with normalization of prothrombin time and recovery of conscious state of the recipients. There was no vascular complication, but six recipients required reoperation. One recipient died of systemic candidiasis 16 days after transplantation and 6 (86%) were alive with the original graft at a median follow-up of 6.5 months (range, 5-10 months).


When performed by a team with experience in hepatectomy and transplantation, LDLT, using an extended right lobe graft, can achieve superior results. The technique extends the success of LDLT from pediatric recipients to adult recipients and opens a new donor pool for adults to receive a timely graft of adequate function.

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