Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Splitting donated livers shown to be safe, allowing doctors to save two lives from single organ, study suggests

Date:
July 17, 2013
Source:
Boston Children's Hospital
Summary:
Split liver transplantation carries no increased risk of failure in either recipient, allowing surgeons to safely save two lives from a single donated organ, according to new research.

Split liver transplantation carries no increased risk of failure in either recipient, allowing surgeons to safely save two lives from a single donated organ (graft), according to new research from Boston Children's Hospital published online in the Journal of the American College of Surgeons.

Due to their regenerative nature, livers donated by a deceased adult or adolescent can be surgically split into two unequally sized portions; the smaller segment is allocated to a young child awaiting transplant and the larger portion to an adult.

"Infants waiting for a donor liver have the highest wait list mortality of all liver transplant candidates, and dozens of children die each year waiting for size-appropriate organs to become available," says Heung Bae Kim, MD,director of Boston Children's Hospital's Pediatric Transplant Center and lead author on the study."If we can increase the number of split livers to just 200 a year, which would still affect less than four percent of the total number of livers transplanted each year, it would save virtually every small child waiting for a new liver."

Based on his recent findings, (which includes research on how well children function with split livers)Kim is advocating for changes in how donor livers are allocated -- automatically placing infants and small children at the top of the liver wait list, thereby giving pediatric transplant surgeons the option to split the first graft to become available. Once the liver has been split, the smaller portion is transplanted into a child and the larger portion is transplanted into the next appropriate adult on the list.

Analyzing United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) records, Boston Children's researchers looked at data compiled over a fifteen year period (1995-2010), studying the graft survival rates of 62,190 first-time adult deceased-donor liver transplant recipients, 889 of whom received partial grafts from a split liver transplant. The research shows that from 2002 forward the vast majority of adults who received a split graft experienced a risk of graft failure comparable to those who received a whole graft.

"After an extensive review of the data, it's clear that in the current era, with the exception of a small, very sick population of patients, adults who receive a split graft can expect to fare as well as those who received a whole organ," says Ryan Cauley, MD, MPH, first author on the paper. "Because risks once associated with this technique are now negligible, if a center has a patient waiting for a liver and it has access to a split graft, there's no reason not to accept it."

In addition to saving young patients, Kim's proposed amendments to the allocation process could take place without sweeping change, affecting only an extremely small portion of available grafts. "There are around 500 to 600 pediatric liver transplants done each year in the United States, with split liver transplant only accounting for 120 of the total number," Kim says. "By splitting just 80 more livers a year, it would make grafts available to virtually every small child on the wait list. Given the current national debate on maximizing access to organs for children, it's my hope that implementing changes that would benefit children without harming adults would be considered favorably."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Boston Children's Hospital. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ryan P. Cauley et al. Deceased Donor Split-Liver Transplantation in Adult Recipients: Is the Learning Curve Over? Journal of the American College of Surgeons, 2013 DOI: 10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2013.06.005

Cite This Page:

Boston Children's Hospital. "Splitting donated livers shown to be safe, allowing doctors to save two lives from single organ, study suggests." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 17 July 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130717164417.htm>.
Boston Children's Hospital. (2013, July 17). Splitting donated livers shown to be safe, allowing doctors to save two lives from single organ, study suggests. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130717164417.htm
Boston Children's Hospital. "Splitting donated livers shown to be safe, allowing doctors to save two lives from single organ, study suggests." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130717164417.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

President To Send 3,000 Military Personnel To Fight Ebola

Newsy (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is expected to send 3,000 troops to West Africa as part of the effort to contain Ebola's spread. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

Obama Orders Military Response to Ebola

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Calling the Ebola outbreak in West Africa a potential threat to global security, President Barack Obama is ordering 3,000 U.S. military personnel to the stricken region amid worries that the outbreak is spiraling out of control. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

UN: 20,000 Could Be Infected With Ebola by Year End

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Nearly $1.0 billion dollars is needed to fight the Ebola outbreak raging in west Africa, the United Nations say, warning that 20,000 could be infected by year end. Duration: 00:40 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

Obama: Ebola Outbreak Threat to Global Security

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) President Obama is ordering U.S. military personnel to West Africa to deal with the Ebola outbreak, which is he calls a potential threat to global security. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins