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Keywords:

  • Small-for-size graft;
  • Left-lobe graft;
  • Graft survival;
  • Cholestasis;
  • Intractable ascites

Abstract Graft size is known to be a major risk factor in living donor adult liver transplantation (LDALT). The aim of this study is to reassess whether graft size is a critical factor in LDALT or not. A series of 75 LDALTs excluding auxiliary transplantation and ABO blood-type incompatible transplantation were analyzed. The patients were divided into two groups, according to graft volume (GV) and standard liver volume (SLV): group 1 (small-size group) (GV/SLV: <40%), and group 2 (non-small-size group) (≥40%). Perioperative clinical data were compared between the two groups, including graft survival and postoperative complications. These parameters were also compared under the conditions of cirrhotic recipients. No difference in graft survival was found between the two groups. No difference was found in incidence of postoperative complications, such as intractable ascites and persistent hyperbilirubinemia. Even in cirrhotic patients with Child-Pugh's class C, there was no difference in graft survival between the two groups. Risk factors related to graft loss were a preoperative urgent status due to chronic liver disease, pre-operative hyperbilirubinemia of over 10 mg/dl, and ABO blood type of not identical but compatible combination between donor and recipient. Graft size is not always considered to be a major risk factor in LDALT, although the number of patients was small in this study. Therefore, a left-lobe graft, even a “small-for-size” graft for adult recipients, remains a feasible option in LDALT.