Affordable Access

Liver transplantation at the University of Chicago.

  • Cronin, D C
  • Conjeevaram, H
  • Brady, L
  • Millis, J M
Published Article
Clinical transplants
Publication Date
Jan 01, 1999
PMID: 11038642


Since our 1995 report, improvements in patient survival after liver transplantation have widened indications for liver transplantation and led to a greater imbalance between donor supply and need. The organ shortage is the major barrier to liver transplantation at this time. Despite expanded donor criteria, there has been only a marginal increase in the number of liver transplants performed nationally. We have used several approaches to decrease the demand for organs in both adults and children. Our center was one of the first institutions to use reduced-size, living-donor, and split liver transplants routinely. The use of reduced-size liver transplants has decreased as the use of split liver transplantation has increased. Both split liver transplantation and living donor transplantation play an important role in caring for pediatric and adult patients with end-stage and fulminant liver disease. We have concentrated our recent efforts to optimizing the technical aspects of living donor transplantation in order to decrease the need for retransplantation and further organ use. These efforts have dramatically increased graft survival. We have also focused attention on treating patients prior to transplantation in an attempt to eventually abrogate the need for traditional transplantation in some disease processes. With the use of hepatocytes and liver assist devices, we have demonstrated that we can provide a level of metabolic support not achieved with traditional medical therapy for patients with fulminant hepatic failure. As further advances in these therapies are made over the next several years, a concerted effort to bridge patients to recovery will be made. As liver transplantation has become more standardized, it has opened the door to more challenges. We have used liver transplantation in combination with cardiac transplantation to care for selected patients with end stage disease of both organs. This has been remarkably successful for the 3 patients transplanted at the University of Chicago. The immunologic benefit of this combination appears to be a decreased incidence of cardiac rejection. We have standardized the technical components of this combined operation to allow for optimal organ function and patient survival.

Report this publication


Seen <100 times