Adult Living Donor Liver Transplantation for Patients With Portal Vein Thrombosis: A Single-center Experience

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Living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) for patients with portal vein thrombosis (PVT) is associated with several technical challenges for its complicated procedures and poor outcomes. Some institutions still consider preexisting PVT as a relatively contraindication for LDLT.


Between April 2010 and May 2016, 129 adults underwent LDLT at our institution, and 28 (21.7%) of whom had preexisting PVT. Portal vein thrombosis was diagnosed using preoperative imaging techniques and intraoperative findings. The characteristics and outcomes of the cases were retrospectively evaluated.


The type of PVT included Yerdel grade 1 in 21 (75.0%) cases, grade 2 in 3 (10.7%) cases, and grade 3 in 4 (14.3%) cases. There were no cases of Yerdel grade 4 PVT. After removing thrombus inside the vessel, we performed simple portal vein anastomosis in 25 (89.3%) cases, patch technique with vascular graft in 1 case (3.6%), and an interposition technique with vascular graft in 2 cases (7.1%). Compared with the non-PVT group, cold ischemic time was longer (P = 0.012) and the rate of postoperative PVT was higher (P = 0.001) in PVT group. In the comparison between the recipient without and with postoperative PVT, the existence of preoperative PVT was the independent risk factor in the multivariate analysis (hazard ratio, 7.511; 95% confidence interval 1.382-40.820; P = 0.020).


Although it had a technically complicated operation, LDLT could be safely performed in the patients with PVT in our institution.

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