Living related liver transplantation: the ultimate technique to expand the donor pool?

Transplantation. 2005 Sep 27;80(1 Suppl):S138-41. doi: 10.1097/


Today, living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) is well established in many centers as a therapeutic method for end-stage liver disease. LDLT is an option for selected cases and is still under development. From the beginning of LDLT until now, many innovations have been presented and as a consequence both the surgical and medical complications in both donors and recipients reduced greatly. As a benefit, this procedure enriches the donor organ pool and reduces the imbalance between the scarcity of organ resource and organ demand; however, LDLT will not solve the problem of organ shortage. Because the modality of LDLT is still associated with morbidity and mortality of the donors, recipient's graft-size match problems and substantial surgical complications, ethical issues of live organ donation must be discussed. Nevertheless, estimates of patient survival and complications in both donors and recipients should incorporate waiting time mortality. With this background, the extended indications for LDLT compared with cadaveric liver transplantation would have to be discussed in many cases. In this brief review, we focus on potential complications for both donors and recipients after adult-to-adult LDLT, discuss ethical problems and controversies with special interest on the perspective and potentials of this surgical method.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cadaver
  • Family
  • Hepatectomy / adverse effects*
  • Hepatectomy / mortality
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation / statistics & numerical data*
  • Living Donors / supply & distribution*
  • Morbidity
  • Patient Selection
  • Tissue Donors
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting / adverse effects*
  • Tissue and Organ Harvesting / mortality