Live Donor Liver Transplantation in Adults

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Live donor liver transplantation (LDLT) was initiated in 1988 for children recipients. Its application to adult recipients was limited by graft size until the first right liver LDLT was performed in Hong Kong in 1996. Since then, right liver graft has become the major graft type. Despite rapid adoption of LDLT by many centers, many controversies on donor selection, indications, techniques, and ethics exist. With the recent known 11 donor deaths around the world, transplant surgeons are even more cautious than the past in the evaluation and selection of donors. The need for routine liver biopsy in donor evaluation is arguable but more and more centers opt for a policy of liberal liver biopsy. Donation of the middle hepatic vein (MHV) in the right liver graft was considered unsafe but now data indicate that the outcome of donors with or without MHV donation is about equal. Right liver LDLT has been shown to improve the overall survival rate of patients with chronic liver disease, acute or acute-on-chronic liver failure and hepatocellular carcinoma waiting for liver transplantation. The outcome of LDLT is equivalent to deceased donor liver transplantation despite a smaller graft size and higher technical complexity.

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