Indexed on: 14 Sep '06Published on: 14 Sep '06Published in: Clinical Transplantation
No consensus exists regarding the optimal reconstruction of the cavo-caval anastomosis in piggyback orthotopic liver transplantation (PB-LT). The aim of this study was to analyze our experience with end-to-side (ES) cavo-cavostomy. Outcome parameters were patient and graft survival and surgical complications. During the period 1995-2002 146 full-size PB-LT in 137 adult patients were performed with ES cavo-cavostomy without the routine use of temporary portocaval shunt (TPCS). In 12 patients (8%) this technique was used for implantation of second or third grafts. Veno-venous bypass was not used in any case and TPCS was performed only in eight patients (6%). One-, three- and five-yr patient and graft survival were 84%, 79% and 75%, and 81%, 74% and 69%, respectively. The median number of intraoperative transfusion of packed red blood cells (RBC) was 2.0 (range 0-33) and 30% of the patients (n = 43) did not require any RBC transfusion. Surgical complications of various types were observed after 49 LT (34%) and none of the complications was specifically related to the technique of ES cavo-cavostomy. Our experience indicates that PB-LT with ES cavo-cavostomy is a safe procedure, can safely be performed without the routine use of a TPCS, has a very low risk of venous outflow obstruction and can also be used effectively during retransplantations.