In acute hepatic failure auxiliary liver transplantation is an interesting alternative approach. The aim is to provide a temporary support until the failing native liver has regenerated.(1-3) The APOLT-method, the orthotopic implantation of auxiliary segments- averts most of the technical problems. However this method necessitates extensive resections of both the native liver and the graft.(4) In 1998, Erhard developed the heterotopic auxiliary liver transplantation (HALT) utilizing portal vein arterialization (PVA) (Figure 1). This technique showed promising initial clinical results.(5-6) We developed a HALT-technique with flow-regulated PVA in the rat to examine the influence of flow-regulated PVA on graft morphology and function (Figure 2). A liver graft reduced to 30 % of its original size, was heterotopically implanted in the right renal region of the recipient after explantation of the right kidney.? The infra-hepatic caval vein of the graft was anastomosed with the infrahepatic caval vein of the recipient. The arterialization of the donor's portal vein was carried out via the recipient's right renal artery with the stent technique. The blood-flow regulation of the arterialized portal vein was achieved with the use of a stent with an internal diameter of 0.3 mm. The celiac trunk of the graft was end-to-side anastomosed with the recipient's aorta and the bile duct was implanted into the duodenum. A subtotal resection of the native liver was performed to induce acute hepatic failure. (7) In this manner 112 transplantations were performed. The perioperative survival rate was 90% and the 6-week survival rate was 80%. Six weeks after operation, the native liver regenerated, showing an increase in weight from 2.3?0.8 g to 9.8?1 g. At this time, the graft's weight decreased from 3.3?0.8 g to 2.3?0.8 g. We were able to obtain promising long-term results in terms of graft morphology and function. HALT with flow-regulated PVA reliably bridges acute hepatic failure until the native liver regenerates.
- Issue 91
- auxiliary liver transplantation
- portal vein arterialization
- acute hepatic failure