Short-Term Intensive Treatment for Donors with Hepatic Steatosis in Living-Donor Liver Transplantation

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Abstract

Background.

The use of steatotic livers is associated with increased primary nonfunction in liver transplantation. To reduce the risk of liver injury, we applied a short-term combination therapy of diet, exercise and drugs for 11 living-donor liver transplantation (LDLT) candidates with steatosis.

Methods.

Subjects were treated with a protein-rich (1000 kcal/day) diet, exercise (600 kcal/day), and bezafibrate (400 mg/day) for 2–8 weeks.

Results.

The treatment significantly improved macrovesicular steatosis (30±4% vs. 12±2% [mean±SEM], P= 0.0028). Body weight and BMI were significantly reduced (73.7±3.2 kg vs. 66.9±2.9 kg, P=0.0033, 26.4±0.7 kg/m2 vs. 24.1±0.8 kg/m2, P=0.0033). The treatment completely normalized liver function tests and lipid metabolism. Seven treated liver grafts (left lobe) were transplanted to the recipients. We compared transplanted graft function and resected liver function of donors using parameters such as peak total bilirubin, prothrombin time at postoperative day 3, and peak alanine aminotransferase between treated liver (n=7) and donor liver without hepatic steotosis (n=37). The transplanted grafts showed good liver functions, and there was no difference between them with respect to functional parameters. The treated donors also showed good liver functions, and no significant differences in functional parameters.

Conclusions.

The results of this study indicate that our short-term treatment effectively reduced steatosis and contributed to safer LDLT. Our findings also suggest that even severely steatotic livers can be used for LDLT grafting subsequent to our short-term treatment regimen.

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