Technical Aspects of Orthotopic Liver Transplantationa Survey-Based Study Within the Eurotransplant, Swisstransplant, Scandiatransplant, and British Transplantation Society Networks

Zoltan Czigany, Marcus N. Scherer, Johann Pratschke, Markus Guba, Silvio Nadalin, Arianeb Mehrabi, Gabriela Berlakovich, Xavier Rogiers, Jacques Pirenne, Jan Lerut, Zoltan Mathe, Philipp Dutkowski, Bo-Goran Ericzon, Massimo Malago, Nigel Heaton, Wenzel Schoening, Jan Bednarsch, Ulf Peter Neumann, Georg Lurje*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


BackgroundOrthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) has emerged as the mainstay of treatment for end-stage liver disease. However, technical aspects of OLT are still subject of ongoing debate and are widely based on personal experience and local institutional protocols.MethodsAn international online survey was sent out to all liver transplant centers (n=52) within the Eurotransplant, Swisstransplant, Scandiatransplant, and British Transplant Society networks. The survey sought information on center-specific OLT caseload, vascular and biliary reconstruction, graft reperfusion, intraoperative control of hemodynamics, and drain policies.ResultsForty-two centers gave a valid response (81%). Out of these, 50% reported piggy-back and 40.5% total caval replacement as their standard technique. While 48% of all centers generally do not apply veno-venous bypass (vvBP) or temporary portocaval shunt (PCS) during OLT, vvBP/PCS are routinely used in six centers (14%). Portal vein first reperfusion is used in 64%, followed by simultaneous (17%), and retrograde reperfusion (12%). End-to-end duct-to-duct anastomosis without biliary drain (67%) is the most frequently performed method of biliary reconstruction. No significant associations were found between the center caseload and the surgical approach used. The predominant part of the centers (88%) stated that techniques of OLT are not evidence-based and 98% would participate in multicenter clinical trials on these topics.ConclusionTechnical aspects of OLT vary widely among European centers. The extent to which center-specific variation of techniques affect transplant outcomes in Europe should be elucidated further in prospective multicenter trials.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)529-537
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019
Event18th Congress of the European Society for Organ Transplantation - Barcelona, Spain
Duration: 24 Sept 201727 Sept 2017
Conference number: 18


  • Survey
  • Liver transplantation
  • Piggy-back
  • Reperfusion
  • Abdominal drain

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