Purpose: The aim of the present study was to evaluate the usefulness and the limits of pre-explant ultrasonography of the liver in the workup of multi-organ donor patients. Methods and materials: Between January 2001 and March 2004, 52 sonographic examinations of the liver were performed on potential multi-organ donors aged 2-72 years (mean: 45.3). In all cases, the cause of death was cerebral hemorrhage/ischemia (spontaneous or traumatic). The examinations included evaluation of the echo-texture of the liver, the presence or the absence of focal lesions or diffuse disease, vascularity, and the biliary tract. Results: In one patient, three hepatic cysts were found, three presented solid hyperechoic lesions that were later confirmed to be hemangiomas by pre-implant histologic examination, and 18 patients were found to have diffuse chronic liver disease. In four of these cases, the sonographic diagnosis was not concordant with the results of the biopsy examination. Conclusion: Ultrasonography can be considered a reliable method for detecting focal liver lesions in potential organ donors. Distinguishing between benign and malignant lesions on the basis of sonographic findings is not required since this can be accomplished during the routine biopsy examination. It is also reliable for the evaluation of vascularity and the biliary tract, but it was of limited use in defining the nature and severity of chronic diffuse liver disease.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Internal Medicine
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging