Background: Split liver transplantation is an excellent option for expansion of the donor organ pool. However, reports of increased morbidity in split liver recipients may limit use of this technique. Study Design: This was a single center retrospective analysis investigating split liver transplantation. Between August 1, 1995 and March 30, 2012, 53 of 1,261 (4.2%) recipients received split liver grafts. Results: The 1-, 5-, and 10-year patient and graft survivals in adult recipients of split grafts were 95.5%, 89.5%, and 89.5%, respectively. Survival was similar to that of whole organ recipients (p = 0.15). Twenty-three adults received split grafts: 18 (78%) were right trisegment grafts, 4 (17.4%) were right lobes, and 1 (4.3%) was a left lobe. The mean cold ischemic time was 5.7 hours (±2.4 hours [SD]) and warm ischemic time was 36 minutes (±5.5 minutes). Four (17%) recipients required hepatic artery reconstruction; 5 (21.7%) required a caval-venous patch, and 5 (21.7%) had Roux-en-Y reconstruction of the bile duct. No venous conduits were required. Thirty children received split grafts (median age 1.2 years, range 0.1 to 16.4 years) and had a median weight of 8.6 kg (range 3.6 to 45 kg). Pediatric split 1-, 5-, and 10-year overall and graft survival rates were 96.7%, 80.0%, 80.0%, and 93.3%, 76.8, and 76.8%, respectively. Complications included retransplantation in 3 (10.0%), bile leak in 5 (16.7%), hepatic arterial thrombosis in 2 (6.7%), bowel perforation in 2 (6.7%), and bleeding in 2 (6.7%). The mean donor age was 22.4 months (±8.9) months and body mass index was 22.8 kg/m2 (±3.3 kg/m2). Conclusions: We demonstrated excellent outcomes in adult and pediatric recipients using carefully selected donors for liver splitting. We recommend escalation of the use of split liver transplants to expand the donor pool for cadaveric liver transplantation.
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