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Living donor liver transplantation for fulminant hepatic failure


Associate Professor Yasuhiko Sugawara, Artificial Organ and Transplantation Division, Department of Surgery, Graduate School of Medicine, University of Tokyo, 7-3-1 Hongo, Bunkyo-ku, Tokyo 113-8655, Japan. Email:


Aim:  The aim of this study was to investigate the safety of living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) for fulminant hepatic failure (FHF) patients.

Methods:  We reviewed the clinical indications, operative procedures and prognosis of LDLT performed on patients with FHF at the University of Tokyo. From January 1996 to August 2007, 96 patients were referred to our department due to severe acute hepatitis or FHF. Of these, 36 underwent LDLT and were the subjects of this study. Of the 36 patients who underwent LDLT, 32 were over 18 years old. The etiologies of FHF included non-A, non-B hepatitis in 23, hepatitis B virus in 11, Wilson's disease in one, and auto-immune hepatitis in one. Graft type included right liver in 18, left liver in 16 and right paramedian sector in two.

Results:  Patient and graft survival rates at 5 years were 87% and 82%, respectively. Twenty-three patients had postoperative complications: acute cellular rejection in 12, biliary stricture in eight, bile leakage in six, peritoneal hemorrhage in six and hepatic arterial thrombosis in four.

Conclusion:  The LDLT procedure provided satisfactory survival rates for FHF patients.

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