Donor bile duct evaluation with magnetic resonance cholangiography in living-donor liver transplantation: a novel anatomical classification for predicting surgical techniques

Diagn Interv Radiol. 2024 Mar 6;30(2):74-79. doi: 10.4274/dir.2023.232321. Epub 2023 Sep 19.


Purpose: To propose a novel, inclusive classification that facilitates the selection of the appropriate donor and surgical technique in living-donor liver transplantation (LDLT).

Methods: The magnetic resonance cholangiography examinations of 201 healthy liver donors were retrospectively evaluated. The study group was classified according to the proposed classification. The findings were compared with the surgical technique used in 93 patients who underwent transplantation. The Couinaud, Huang, Karakas, Choi, and Ohkubo classifications were also applied to all cases.

Results: There were 118 right-lobe donors (58.7%) and 83 left-lateral-segment donors (41.3%). Fifty-six (28.8%) of the cases were classified as type 1, 136 (67.7%) as type 2, and 7 (3.5%) as type 3 in the proposed classification; all cases could be classified. The number of individuals able to become liver donors was 93. A total of 36 cases were type 1, 56 were type 2, and 1 was type 3. Of the type 1 donors, 83% required single anastomosis during transplantation, whereas six patients classified as type 1 required two anastomoses, all of which were caused by technical challenges during resection. Moreover, 51.8% of the cases classified as type 2 required additional anastomosis during transplantation. The type 3 patient required three anastomoses. The type 1 and type 2 donors required a different number of anastomoses (P < 0.001).

Conclusion: The proposed classification in this study includes all anatomical variations. This inclusive classification accurately predicts the surgical technique for LDLT.

Keywords: Bile duct variations; intrahepatic bile ducts; liver transplantation; magnetic resonance cholangiography; magnetic resonance imaging.

MeSH terms

  • Bile Ducts / diagnostic imaging
  • Bile Ducts / surgery
  • Cholangiography / methods
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Living Donors
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Retrospective Studies