The principle in right lobe living donor liver transplantation is to use “near-perfect” grafts to maximize recipient benefit with minimal donor risk. Whether and what degree of graft macrovesicular steatosis is safe for both recipient and donor is debatable.
We compared donor and recipient outcomes in 623 primary right lobe living donor liver transplantations, using grafts with (Group A; 10%–20% steatosis, n = 92) and without (Group B; <10%, n = 531) significant macrovesicular steatosis, on pre- or intraoperative biopsy.
Group A donors had higher body mass index, transaminases, fasting blood sugar, triglyceride, low density lipoprotein level, and lower high density lipoprotein, and liver attenuation index on CT scan, and similar future liver remnant. Mean postoperative day (POD) 7, aspartate aminotransferase (61.13 + 24.77 vs 73.17 + 53.71 IU/L; P
= 0.04), and prothrombin time-international normalized ratio (1.16 + 0.36 vs 1.28 + 0.24; P
= 0.0001) were lower in Group A donors. POD3 of 7 total bilirubin and alanine aminotransferase; POD3 aspartate aminotransferase and prothrombin time-international normalized ratio; postoperative morbidity (Dindo-Clavien >3b), hospital stay were similar in both groups. Recipients in both groups had similar age, model for end-stage liver disease score. Right lobe graft weight (764.8 + 145.46 vs 703.24 + 125.53 grams; P
< 0.0001) and GRWR (1.09 + 0.29 vs 1.00 + 0.21; P
= 0.0004) were higher in Group A. All biochemical parameters at POD 3 of 7, as well as hospital stay, 30-day mortality were similar in recipients of both groups, even after matching both groups for age, model for end-stage liver disease, and GRWR.
Use of well-selected right lobe grafts (adequate future liver remnant in donor, GRWR in recipient), with up to 20% macrovesicular steatosis, does not compromise graft function and outcomes and is safe for the donor.