Second Department of Surgery, Dokkyo Medical University, Japan; The Liver Unit, University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust, Queen Elizabeth Hospital Birmingham, United Kingdom. Electronic address: [Email]
BACKGROUND : The presence of atherosclerosis of the common hepatic artery (CHA) in donor livers potentially contributes to vascular complications after liver transplantation, thereby most of those organs are traditionally discarded. Herein, we describe the successful outcome of three patients transplanted with grafts that had severe atherosclerosis of the donor CHA up to the level of the gastroduodenal artery (GDA). METHODS : In all three cases, endarterectomies were performed by dissection between the atheromatous core and the artery intima using a dissecting spatula, allowing to secure the lumen of the vessel. The native CHA/GDA patch was aligned with the corresponding CHA/GDA patch from the graft for the arterial reconstruction. No vascular complications were seen post-operatively. CONCLUSIONS : Endarterectomy and anatomical reconstitution of the arterial tree, without any redundancy or kinking, allowed for the successful transplantation of organs that would be otherwise discarded. Further, the straight alignment of the arteries may enhance flow dynamics, preventing thrombosis. CONCLUSIONS : This report might guide future studies targeting means to increase the utility of donor livers discarded due to arterial atherosclerosis.