Banff consensus recommendations for steatosis assessment in donor livers

Hepatology. 2022 Apr;75(4):1014-1025. doi: 10.1002/hep.32208. Epub 2021 Dec 6.


Background and aims: No consensus criteria or approaches exist regarding assessment of steatosis in the setting of human donor liver suitability for transplantation. The Banff Working Group on Liver Allograft Pathology undertook a study to determine the consistency with which steatosis is assessed and reported in frozen sections of potential donor livers.

Approach and results: A panel of 59 pathologists from 16 countries completed a questionnaire covering criteria used to assess steatosis in donor liver biopsies, including droplet size and magnification used; subsequently, steatosis severity was assessed in 18 whole slide images of donor liver frozen sections (n = 59). Survey results (from 56/59) indicated a wide variation in definitions and approaches used to assess and report steatosis. Whole slide image assessment led to a broad range in the scores. Findings were discussed at a workshop held at the 15th Banff Conference on Allograft Pathology, September 2019. The aims of discussions were to (i) establish consensus criteria for defining "large droplet fat" (LDF) that predisposes to increased risk of initial poor graft function and (ii) develop an algorithmic approach to determine fat droplet size and the percentage of hepatocytes involved. LDF was defined as typically a single fat droplet that expands the involved hepatocyte and is larger than adjacent nonsteatotic hepatocytes. Estimating severity of steatosis involves (i) low magnification estimate of the approximate surface area of the biopsy occupied by fat, (ii) higher magnification determination of the percentage of hepatocytes within the fatty area with LDF, and (iii) final score calculation.

Conclusions: The proposed guidelines herein are intended to improve standardization in steatosis assessment of donor liver biopsies. The calculated percent LDF should be provided to the surgeon.

MeSH terms

  • Biopsy
  • Consensus
  • Fatty Liver* / diagnosis
  • Fatty Liver* / pathology
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Transplantation* / methods
  • Living Donors
  • Tissue Donors