Background. The critical shortage of size-matched donor organs for infants and small children in need of combined liver and intestinal transplantation has lead to long waiting times and a high risk of dying before transplantation. Utilizing grafts from larger donors could alleviate this problem, but using larger composite grafts in small children has been challenging and unsuccessful in the past. Methods. We conducted a pilot study for evaluating the results of transplanting into small recipients a composite graft (reduced-size liver and whole small bowel, including duodenum and pancreas head) procured from large donors. Liver size reduction was performed ex situ using the extrahilar approach, which leaves the liver hilum untouched. Straightforward implantation of the graft was performed by simple, two-step vascular anastomoses. The preservation of the donor duodenum in continuity with the combined graft avoided the need for biliary reconstruction, thus preserving maximal bowel length for gut continuity restoration in the recipient. Results. Two children, weighing 7.6 and 9.8 kg, respectively, underwent transplantation of a composite graft procured from donors weighing 35 kg. Their waiting time (68 and 97 days, respectively) was shorter compared with our previous experience with conventional techniques. Both are currently alive and well, at home and on full enteral feeds, 15 and 11 months after transplantation, respectively. Conclusion. This new technique has extended the range of possible donors for small candidates waiting for combined grafts and was successful in two patients. It should be considered for small recipients in the future.
|Number of pages||5|
|Publication status||Published - Feb 27 2000|
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