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The bile duct in donation after cardiac death donor liver transplant

Muiesan, Paolo; Fisher, Simon

Current Opinion in Organ Transplantation:
doi: 10.1097/MOT.0000000000000106
SPECIAL COMMENTARY: Edited by Jan P. Lerut

Purpose of review: This review considers the biliary complications associated with liver transplantation using donation after cardiac death (DCD) donor grafts.

Recent findings: The increasing use of DCD liver grafts with their increased incidence of biliary complications is discussed. The ethics of this greater use is briefly analysed. Recent animal and human study evidence to support the peribiliary vascular plexus’ role in ischaemic cholangiopathy is reviewed. Recent advances in in-vivo and ex-vivo perfusion are explored. In particular, the latest theories regarding perfusion's peribiliary plexus preserving effects and the mechanism by which biliary regeneration may be promoted as a consequence are discussed.

Summary: This article explores the need for DCD liver graft use and the associated biliary complications. The current theories regarding the cause of DCD biliary complications are reviewed, as are the current strategies to reduce them.

Author Information

Liver Surgery and Transplant Unit, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, United Kingdom

Correspondence to Paolo Muiesan, Liver Surgery and Transplant Unit, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham, United Kingdom. Tel: +44 0 121 627 2418; e-mail:

© 2014 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins