What is the role of living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) in the treatment of cirrhosis?

Updated: Jul 30, 2018
  • Author: David C Wolf, MD, FACP, FACG, AGAF, FAASLD; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Answer

The advent of living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) has introduced a new variable into any discussion of the timing of transplantation. LDLT has the potential to make liver transplantation an elective procedure not only for the cirrhotic patient with significant complications but also for the cirrhotic patient with a poor quality of life.

LDLT became a reality for pediatric recipients in 1988 and for adult recipients a decade later. The procedure arose from advances in surgical technique and a worsening shortage of deceased donor organs. In LDLT, up to 60% of a healthy volunteer donor's liver can be surgically resected and transplanted into the abdomen of a recipient. Graft survival in LDLT recipients is on par with that seen in the recipients of deceased donor organs.


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