More Than a Quarter of a Century of Liver Transplantation in Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital.
Chen CL, Concejero AM, Cheng YF.
Clinical Transplants 2011, Chapter 19
Liver transplantation has been an accepted treatment for end-stage liver disease since the 1980s. The development of living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) was driven by limited deceased donor organ donation and a response to the growing demand for the option of liver replacement. LDLT is now performed with high rates of success due to judicious donor and recipient selection, careful preoperative planning, excellent anesthesia management, and prompt detection and treatment of complications. The first successful liver transplantation in Asia was performed in 1984, in Chang Gung Memorial Hospital in a Taiwanese adolescent with Wilson's disease, complicated by end-stage liver cirrhosis. The longest Asian liver transplant survivor has now been living for 26 years and that patient's transplant was also performed in Chang Gung Memorial Hospital. Through December 31, 2011, a total of 924 (783 living donor, 141 deceased donor) liver transplants have been performed at the Kaohsiung Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, where both graft and patient survivals are excellent. For biliary atresia, hepatitis B virus cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma recipients, our 5-year LDLT survival rates are 98%, 94%, and 90%, respectively. Our overall (deceased and living donor) actuarial 3-year survival rate is 91%. Innovative techniques in LDLT represent technical refinements in hepatic vein, portal vein, hepatic artery, and biliary reconstruction approaches. Hepatic vein reconstruction is highlighted by venoplasty reconstructions in both graft hepatic vein orifices and recipient hepatic veins, to ensure adequate outflow and decrease ischemia times during implantation. Vascular interposition to reconstruct middle hepatic vein tributaries with either fresh or cryopreserved vessels is used when the middle hepatic vein is not routinely harvested with the graft. We have extended the routine use of microsurgical techniques, initially for hepatic artery reconstruction, to biliary reconstruction where the possibility of duct-to-duct reconstruction is performed with accuracy and precision in pediatric non-biliary atresia and in multiple, small bile ducts. Long-term survival has always been related to the immunosuppression regimen, which influences outcome. Newer drugs do not equate to lesser complications. Rather, improvement in how we can find new uses for old drugs is now the norm. Less immunosuppression, as long as hepatic function is maintained at an acceptable level, decreases the chances of long-term complications related to immunosuppression use.