Right-liver living donor transplantation for decompensated end-stage liver disease



Adult-to-adult living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) for patients with decompensated end-stage liver disease (DELD) is controversial. Nevertheless, these patients are most in need of a timely liver transplant. We present the results of 7 patients who underwent transplantation with this procedure and discuss the rationale for its possible broader application. Seven of 51 patients who underwent right LDLT (segments 5 to 8) between August 1998 and April 2001 had DELD, defined as Child-Pugh-Turcotte score greater than 13 or Model for End-Stage Liver Disease score greater than 30. All patients also were listed for cadaveric liver transplantation. Mean age of the 7 transplant recipients was 54 years (range, 44 to 63 years). Three patients had ethyltoxic cirrhosis; 2 patients, hepatitis C; 1 patient, hepatitis B; and 1 patient, autoimmune hepatitis cirrhosis. The average intensive care unit stay was 23 days (range, 3 to 88 days), and average hospital stay was 77 days (range, 27 to 132 days). Three patients are alive 31, 21, and 17 months after LDLT. At a mean follow-up of 15.1 ± 10 months, patient and graft survival rates are 43%. Four transplant recipients died day 30, 60, 117, and 180 after transplantation. Three of the seven donors (43%) experienced a complication. At present, all donors are well and have returned to their normal activities. No donors had regrets about the procedure, and all donors stated that they would donate again if presented with the same decision. In conclusion, with the lack of other therapeutic options, LDLT represents a timely and effective alternative to cadaveric liver transplantation. Better outcome is foreseeable with a decrease in posttransplantation complications and more experience in predicting survival of these critical patients.