Background. Living donors are practically the only source of organs in countries where the availability of cadaveric donors is severely restricted, such as Japan. A left-lobe graft, in which one third of the liver is donated, is therefore used for adult-to-adult living-donor liver transplantation (LDLT) in patients with fulminant hepatic failure (FHF). Methods. Fifteen adult patients with FHF, ranging from 22 to 59 years of age, were treated with LDLT with a left-lobe graft. Preoperative encephalopathy was grade II in 2 patients, grade III in 4 patients, and grade IV in 9 patients. The graft volume (GV) ranged from 260 to 570 mL, thus corresponding to 23% to 54% of the recipients' standard liver volume (SLV). The patients were divided into 2 groups according to their GV/SLV: a medium-size graft group (GV/SLV≥30%; group M, n = 11) and a small-size graft group (GV/SLV <30%; group S, n = 4). The effects of GV/SLV on graft function and survival were compared. Postoperative neurologic complications were also evaluated. Results. The donors are all doing well. Twelve (80%) of the 15 recipients are still alive, with a follow-up period of from 3 to 43 months. No statistically significant differences were observed in the postoperative serum levels of bilirubin and alanine aminotransferase, prothrombin time, or frequency of postoperative complications between the 2 groups. The graft and patient survival rates were 75% (3/4) and 75% (3/4) in group S and 73% (8/11) and 82% (9/11) in group M, respectively. All patients who survived the perioperative period recovered without any neurologic sequelae. Conclusions. The high success rate and low donor risk of LDLT may therefore justify its use for adult patients with FHF using a left-lobe graft.
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