Background: When adults are transplanted with segmental grafts, disparity between the size of the graft and the native organ is almost universal. These grafts presumably still receive all of the native portal inflow despite a reduced vascular bed and dramatically elevated blood flow may result. The hemodynamic changes after segmental transplantation in adults have not yet been studied and their clinical significance is unknown.
Methods: Portal venous and hepatic arterial blood flow were measured intraoperatively in right lobe liver donors and recipients with electromagnetic flow probes. Postoperative evolution was monitored in recipients with ultrasonography.
Results: Portal flow to the right lobe ranged from 601 to 1,102 ml/min before resection and from 1,257 to 2,362 ml/min after transplantation. There was a statistically significant linear correlation between the change in portal flow and graft to recipient body weight ratio. Arterial blood flow ranged from 213 to 460 ml/min before resection and from 60 to 300 ml/min after transplantation. Preoperative portal peak systolic velocity was uniformly around 10 cm/sec. Values on postoperative day 1 were increased to 30 cm/sec in recipients of cadaveric organs, to 50 cm/sec in recipients of organs with graft to recipient body weight ratios of more than 1.2%, and to 115 cm/sec in recipients of organs with ratios less than 0.9%. A decreasing tendency was universally observed. Arterial systolic velocity was inversely related to portal systolic velocity. Neither graft dysfunction nor vascular complications occurred.
Conclusions: The hemodynamic pattern after right lobe transplantation is predictable and intraoperative measurements and ultrasonography are useful for monitoring. The size of the graft influences the magnitude of the hemodynamic changes.