Donor recruitment and selection for adult-to-adult living donor liver transplantation in urgent and elective circumstances

Menahem Ben-Haim*, Michal Carmiel, Nir Lubezky, Rivka Keidar, Paulina Katz, Arye Blachar, Adi Nimrod, Patrick Sorkine, Ran Oren, Joseph M. Klausner, Richard Nakache

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Background: Adult-to-adult living donor liver transplantation is becoming an alternative to cadaveric transplantation in urgent and elective settings. Donor selection crucially affects donor safety and recipient outcome. Objective: To present our algorithm of urgent and elective donor selection. Methods: Urgent selection is expeditious and protocol-based. Elective selection permits a comprehensive process. Both include medical, psychosocial and surgical-anatomic evaluations. Liver volumes and vascular anatomy are evaluated with computerized tomographic angiography. Informed consent is obtained after painstaking explanations. Independent institutional committees review and approve all cases. Results: Between July 2003 and June 2004 we evaluated 43 potential live donors for 12 potential recipients (fulminant hepatic failure, n = 5; chronic end-stage liver disease, n = 6; primary graft nonfunction, n = 1). Thirty-three candidates (76%) were excluded due to blood type incompatibility (n = 14, 42%), incompatible anatomy (n = 8, 24%) - including problematic volume distribution (n = 2) or vascular anatomy (n = 6) - psychosocial issues (n = 4, 12%), or medical comorbidity (n = 7, 22%). Five recipients (FHF, n = 4; chronic ESLD, n = 1) were successfully transplanted from living donors. In the acute setting, two patients (FHF, PGNF) died in the absence of an appropriate donor (cadaveric or living donor). In the elective group, one patient died of unexpected variceal bleeding and one received a cadaveric graft just before the planned living donor transplantation was performed. One candidate was transplanted overseas and two cases are scheduled. The ratio of compatibility for donation was 34% (10/29) for blood type-compatible candidates. Conclusions: Donor selection for living donor liver transplantation is a complex, labor-intensive multidisciplinary process. Most exclusions are due to blood type incompatibility or anatomic details. Psychosocial aspects of these donations warrant special attention.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)169-173
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Medical Association Journal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2005


  • Algorithm
  • Donor evaluation
  • Donor selection
  • Donor's advocate
  • Living donor liver transplantation


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