Published online Jun 27, 2014. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v6.i6.443
Revised: April 18, 2014
Accepted: May 16, 2014
Published online: June 27, 2014
AIM: To determine if there is a reasonable prospect of success of a re-use liver transplantation.
METHODS: We systematically searched for reports of liver graft re-use using electronic searches of PubMed and Web of Knowledge. We performed hand searches of references lists of articles reporting re-use of grafts.
RESULTS: A systematic review of the literature reveals 28 liver transplantations using previously transplanted grafts. First and second recipients ranged in age from 4 to 72 years and 29 to 62 years respectively. Liver disease in the first recipient was varied including 5 (18%) patients with fulminant liver failure who died subsequently of cerebral edema. The second transplantation was performed after a median interval of 5 d (one day-13 years). Viral hepatitis was present in 3 (11%) of the initial recipients and in 8 (29%) of final recipients. Hepatocellular carcinoma was present in 6 (21%) of the final recipients. Early survival after the final transplantation was 93%, whereas long-term survival was 78% with a mean follow-up of 23.3 (3-120) mo.
CONCLUSION: Outcomes of transplantation using previously transplanted grafts in this select population are similar to those seen with conventional grafts.
Core tip: Reuse of a previously transplanted liver graft may be considered if the first recipient suffers neurological death at some time after liver transplantation.