Utility of Polyethylene Terephthalate (Dacron) Vascular Grafts for Venous Outflow Reconstruction in Living-Donor Liver Transplantations
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Background: Venous outflow reconstruction of modified right-lobe liver grafts has been shown to prevent the occurrence of graft congestion and subsequent complications, including graft loss. In the present study, we aimed to investigate the safety and efficacy of Dacron grafts for venous reconstruction in living donor liver transplantation (LDLT). Methods: Between January 2016 and January 2018, Dacron grafts were used in 148 liver transplants. Of these, 104 patients who had a follow-up computerized tomography (CT) scan were enrolled into the study. A total of 179 outflow hepatic veins including V5, V8, partial middle hepatic vein, and accessory inferior right hepatic veins (IRHV) were reconstructed using synthetic Dacron grafts. Graft patency was evaluated with both intraoperative Doppler ultrasonography following reconstruction, and a follow-up CT was performed on the postoperative day 7 (±1). Retrospective data collection included demographics, parameters for small-for-size (laboratory tests [bilirubin, International Normalized Ratio] and ascites) syndrome, postoperative morbidity, and mortality. Results: Follow-up CT revealed graft patency in 155 out of 179 (86.6%) vascular grafts. Postoperative seventh-day patency rates for each reconstructed vein were as follows: V5, 87.5% (70/80); V8, 87.7% (50/57); partial middle hepatic vein, 100% (11/11); and IRHV, 77.4% (24/31). No major graft-related complications (early graft dysfunction, graft infection) or graft-related mortality were observed. None of the recipients developed small-for-size syndrome based on laboratory tests and clinical findings. Conclusions: Dacron vascular grafts appear as an advantageous and useful alternative for venous outflow reconstruction in LDLT. © 2019 Elsevier Inc.