Intermittent inflow occlusion in living liver donors: Impact on safety and remnant function



Clamping of the portal triad accomplishes complete inflow occlusion. This maneuver is commonly used during liver surgery to minimize blood loss but is not widely used in living donors undergoing resection for liver transplantation. We compared outcomes in living donors who underwent resection with and without inflow occlusion. We reviewed data on 2 nonsimultaneous living liver donor cohorts. The first 20 donors (group 1) underwent resection without inflow occlusion. In the next 15 donors (group 2), inflow occlusion was used during parenchymal transection, using cycles of 10–15 minutes occlusion and 6 minutes reperfusion. In donors, we recorded type of resection; ischemia times; blood loss; transfusions; peak ALT, AST, bilirubin, and INR in the first 5 days; hospital length of stay (LOS), and major complications. In recipients, we recorded peak ALT. In group 1, 19 of 20 donors underwent right hepatectomy. In group 2, 8 donors underwent right hepatectomy, and 7 donors had left lobectomies. Total ischemic time ranged from 16–49 minutes (mean, 31 ± 9 minutes). In group 1, two donors received a total of 5 U of allogeneic blood. In group 2, no donor required transfusion. Mean peak ALT was significantly higher in group 1 (521 ± 336 U/L) than group 2 (322 ± 162 U/L; P = 0.03). Mean INR was significantly higher in group 1 (1.8 ± 0.2) vs. group 2 (1.5 ± 0.2; P = 0.001). There were 4 major complications in group 1 (incisional hernia, transient liver failure, biliary stricture, and biliary leak) and no major intraoperative or postoperative complications in group 2. Mean LOS was significantly longer in group 1 (7.9 ± 2.9 days) than group 2 (6.2 ± 1.1 days; P = 0.04). Mean peak ALT in recipients trended lower in group 2. In conclusion, inflow occlusion was associated with reduced blood loss and less ischemic injury to hepatic remnants in the donors and the grafts in the recipients. These benefits were associated with a diminished incidence of major complications and shorter LOS. Inflow occlusion should be an essential part of living donor hepatectomy. (Liver Transpl 2004;10:244–247.)