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Small-for-size grafts in living-related liver transplantation11 No competing interests declared.

Journal of the American College of Surgeons
Publication Date
DOI: 10.1016/s1072-7515(01)00800-6
  • Original Scientific Article
  • Medicine


Abstract BACKGROUND: The problems associated with small-for-size grafts in living-related liver transplantation are not fully understood. STUDY DESIGN: A consecutive series of 79 patients underwent 80 living-related liver transplantation procedures, including one retransplant, at the University of Tokyo from January 1996 to January 2000. They were divided into two groups by graft size: graft weight/recipient standard liver volume ratios of 40% or less (n = 24), and more than 40% (n = 56). Preoperative status, mortality, morbidity, duration of hospital stay, and postoperative graft function were examined and compared between the groups. RESULTS: The rate of patients who were restricted to the intensive care unit preoperatively was comparable between the groups (33% versus 21%, p = 0.27). The mean standard liver volume ratios were 37% in the small graft group and 84% in the large group. Survival rates were 80% (5 of 24) for the small graft group, which was significantly lower than that for the large group (96%, 54 of 56, p = 0.02). The rate of acute rejection was comparable between the groups (33% versus 43%, p = 0.47). Vascular complication was observed in 17% of the small graft group patients and 23% of the large group (p = 0.77). No difference was observed in the frequency of bile leakage or bile duct stenosis (25% versus 21%, p = 0.77). Hyper-bilirubinemia and elongation of prothrombin time persisted longer in the small graft group than in the large group (p < 0.0001 for both). CONCLUSIONS: Our surgical results may suggest that a graft weight ratio of 40% or less provides a lower chance of survival after living-related liver transplantation.

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