Liver autotransplantation for the treatment of unresectable hepatic metastasis: an uncommon indication-a case report

Transplant Proc. 2012 Sep;44(7):1930-3. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2012.06.032.


Ex situ ex vivo liver surgery represents a method to expand the surgical indications to treat otherwise unresectable liver tumors. We report the case of a 38-year old woman with hepatic metastasis from a pancreatoblastoma that was judged to be unresectable due to the involvement of the three hepatic veins. To treat the primary tumor, she underwent a pancreaticoduodenectomy, adjuvant chemotherapy, and thermal ablation of a liver metastasis. After appropriate preoperative study and with the permission of the ethics committee, she underwent ex situ ex vivo liver resection. The hepatectomy was performed by removing the whole liver en bloc with the retrohepatic vena cava. The inferior vena cava was reconstructed by interposition of a prosthetic graft. The ex situ ex vivo hepatic resection, a left hepatic lobectomy included the lesion in segments 1-5-7-8. The two hepatic veins were reconstructed using patches of saphenous vein. The organ was preserved continuously for 6 hours using hypothermic perfusion with 4°C Celsior solution. The liver was then reimplanted performing an anastomosis between the reconstructed hepatic veins and the caval prostheses. The patient was discharged at postoperative day 22 and is currently disease-free at 8 months after surgery and 44 months after the initial diagnosis. Ex situ, ex vivo liver surgery offers an additional option for patients with both primary and secondary liver tumors considered to be unresectable using traditional surgical approaches.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Liver Neoplasms / secondary*
  • Liver Neoplasms / surgery*
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / drug therapy
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / pathology*
  • Pancreatic Neoplasms / surgery