Toward further expansion of the organ pool for adult liver recipients: Splitting the cadaveric liver into right and left lobes

Gideon Zamir, Kim M. Olthoff, Niraj Desai, James F. Markmann, Abraham Shaked

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Background. Current methods of living donor right lobe transplantation can be expanded for use in the cadaveric setting. The aim of this study is to discuss alternative methods for the management of large-for-size cadaveric livers and determine the feasibility of splitting these organs into left and right hemi-livers using similar techniques to those used in the living donor setting. Methods. The indication for an in situ right-left split procedure was an offer of a large liver for a small recipient with a recipient-donor ratio of greater than 1.5. A total of three livers were split. Mean donor age was 33.3 (range, 22-40) years. Mean weight was 118 (range, 90-150) kg. All donors were without significant medical history and were hemodynamically stable, with normal liver function and short hospital stay. Mean duration of the procurement procedure was 235 (range, 210-270) min. Mean cold ischemia time was 8.5 hr. Mean recipient weight was 58.3 kg, and mean donor to recipient weight ratio was 2.0 (1.6-2.6). United Network for Organ Sharing statuses at the time of transplantation were 1 (n=1), 2A (n=1), and 2B (n=4). Results. Immediate graft function was seen in five recipients. Delayed nonfunction was identified in one recipient of a left lobe, who did not undergo transplantation because of sepsis that resulted in death at 30 days. A second mortality occurred in a left lobe recipient, from a fungal brain abscess at 90 days. Complications related to the split included bile leaks in two patients, one necessitating operative revision. Conclusions. Splitting of livers from appropriate brain-dead donors into right and left lobes is technically and logistically feasible. The large-for-size organ provides a more substantial amount of liver tissue to each of the adult recipients, which may result in a greater graft to recipient weight ratio than the current standard that is used in the living donor grafting. The importance of this variable will need to be studied, because it may positively impact on the ability of the reduced-size graft to withstand donor-related organ system stress and injury, which is associated with brain death and the inevitable longer period of cold preservation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1757-1761
Number of pages5
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 27 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Transplantation


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