Portojejunostomy in Split Liver Transplantation as a Rescue Technique for Challenging Biliary Reconstruction: A Case Report

Transplant Proc. 2019 Mar;51(2):575-578. doi: 10.1016/j.transproceed.2018.12.017. Epub 2018 Dec 30.


Cadaveric split liver transplantation (SLT) is a valid option to increase the pool of cadaveric organs, obtaining 2 functioning grafts from a single donor. Typically, SLT is performed for 1 adult and 1 pediatric recipient. However, on the heels of great results achieved in living donor liver transplantation, splitting cadaveric liver into full right graft and full left graft for 2 adults has become a feasible idea. The rate of biliary complications remains the "Achilles heel" in partial graft liver transplantation, either from cadaveric or living donors. In cases of biliary complications, interventional radiology and/or endoscopic procedures are the cornerstone of management. Surgical revision is left as the last option. When surgical revision fails, retransplantation becomes the only rescue option. Herein we describe the case of a cadaveric SLT, complicated by biliary leakage in the presence of multiple bile ducts. A duct-to-duct anastomosis was not feasible. Therefore, a hepaticojejunostomy was performed and resulted in a high-output biliary leak from different sources. Given the anatomy of the biliary tree, radiologic interventional measures were not feasible to address the leak. The idea of performing a portoenterostomy to restore bilioenteric continuity proved to be successful. Portoenterostomy should not be performed in lieu of other alternatives, but rather as the last option to avoid retransplantation in cases of complicated biliary reconstruction after partial graft liver transplant.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Anastomosis, Surgical / methods
  • Biliary Tract Surgical Procedures / methods
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation / adverse effects*
  • Liver Transplantation / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Portoenterostomy, Hepatic / methods*
  • Postoperative Complications / surgery*