Outcome of other organs recovered during in situ split-liver procurements

Thiagarajan Ramcharan, Brooke Glessing, John R. Lake, William D. Payne, Abhinav Humar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Split-liver transplantation is becoming a useful technique to expand the donor pool. Whether the split should be performed in situ or ex situ is not clear. One potential disadvantage of in situ splits is that prolonged surgical time and increased blood loss may negatively affect the function of other solid organs (kidneys, pancreas, and heart) procured from the same donor. Therefore, we studied the function of other organs post transplantation. Between September 1, 1999, and March 31, 2000, we performed six in situ splits at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN). These six splits yielded six right-lobe liver grafts and six left-lobe liver grafts, which were transplanted into 12 adult-size recipients. Other grafts obtained from these six donors were as follows: kidney (n = 11), heart (n = 4), lungs (n = 1), pancreas (n = 2), and kidney-pancreas (n = 1). We then analyzed posttransplantation function of these grafts and the postoperative course of transplant recipients. All six donors were hemodynamically stable at the time of procurement. Mean donor age was 19.7 years. Mean surgical time for the procurement was 7.4 hours, with an average blood loss of 490 mL during in situ splitting of the liver. The 12 liver grafts showed good initial function with no primary non-function. The other organs also showed good function. Of 11 kidney recipients, only 1 patient developed delayed graft function, which resolved within 4 days. In addition, 1 kidney was lost early because of severe acute rejection. For the 10 recipients with functioning kidneys, mean creatinine level at hospital discharge was 2.0 mg/dL, and mean creatinine level after an average 9-month follow-up was 1.3 mg/dL. Of the 4 heart transplant recipients, 3 patients had good graft function immediately posttransplantation, with an ejection fraction greater than 60%, minimal inotropic requirements, and no surgical complications. The fourth heart transplant recipient, a critically ill status 1 patient, had poor initial function and a prolonged intensive care unit stay. At hospital discharge, pancreas and pancreas-kidney transplant recipients were all insulin free, with good urine amylase levels, no surgical or infectious complications, and no evidence of significant pancreatitis post transplantation. The kidney of the pancreas-kidney transplant recipient functioned immediately; creatinine level after 7 months of follow-up was 1.2 mg/dL. Despite increased surgical time and blood loss, in situ splitting of liver grafts can be accomplished in stable donors without significant negative effects on other organs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)853-857
Number of pages5
JournalLiver Transplantation
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2001


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