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Abstract

Since living related liver transplantation was first performed in 1989, more than 150 cases have been performed worldwide, mostly in the United States and Japan. This paper reports the first series of living related liver transplantation in Europe. Twenty living related liver transplantation surgeries were performed over a 13-mo period, with an overall patient survival of 85%. For patients who underwent elective transplantation (n=13), the survival rate was 100%. Technical complications included one arterial thrombosis necessitating retransplantation and five bile leaks requiring surgical revision. The technical improvements that permit avoidance of these complications are discussed. A detailed description of the living related liver procurement is given. All procurements yielded grafts of excellent quality. No intraoperative complications occurred, and no reoperations were necessary. No heterologous blood transfusion was needed. In two patients, incisional hernias developed after wound infection. Living related liver transplantation does not absolve the transplant community of efforts to promote cadaveric organ procurement. Nevertheless, living related liver transplantation does have the advantage of a readily available graft of excellent quality, permitting transplantation with optimal timing under elective conditions. Several centers are now preparing living related segmental liver transplants, following the model of our protocol, for three reasons: (a) to obtain superior results compared with cadaveric liver transplantation; (b) to overcome cadaveric organ shortage and further reduce pretransplantation mortality and (c) to provide viable organs in countries where cadaveric organ procurement is not established. When performed by a team experienced in pediatric liver transplantation and in adult liver resection, living related liver transplantation is an excellent modality for the treatment of end-stage liver disease in children. (Hepatology 1994;20:49S-55S.)