Liver transplantation without venovenous bypass: Does surgical approach matter?

Andrew S. Barbas, Jordan Levy, Michael S. Mulvihill, Nicolas Goldaracena, Martin J. Dib, David P. Al-Adra, Mark S. Cattral, Anand Ghanekar, Paul D. Greig, David R. Grant, Gonzalo Sapisochin, Markus Selzner, Stuart A. McCluskey, Ian D. McGilvray

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Background. The use of venovenous bypass in liver transplantation has declined over time. Few studies have examined the impact of surgical approach in cases performed exclusively without venovenous bypass. We hypothesized that advances in liver transplant anesthesia and perioperative care have minimized the importance of surgical approach in the modern era. Methods. Deceased donor liver transplants at the University of Toronto from 2000 to 2015 were reviewed, all performed without venovenous bypass. First, an unadjusted analysis was performed comparing perioperative outcomes and graft/patient survival for 3 different liver transplant techniques (caval interposition, piggyback, side-to-side cavo-cavostomy). Second, a propensity-matched analysis was performed comparing caval interposition to caval-preserving techniques. Results. One thousand two hundred thirty-three liver transplants were included in the study. On unadjusted analysis, blood loss, transfusion requirement, postoperative complications, and graft/patient survival were equivalent for the 3 different techniques. To account for possible confounding patient variables, propensity matching was performed. Analysis of the propensity-matched cohorts also demonstrated similar outcomes for caval interposition versus caval-preserving approaches. Conclusions. In the modern era at centers with a multidisciplinary team, the importance of specific liver transplant technique is minimized. Full or partial cross-clamping of the inferior vena cava is feasible without the use of venovenous bypass.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere348
JournalTransplantation Direct
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2018
Externally publishedYes

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