Background and objective: We reviewed retrospectively the anaesthetic management and perioperative course of eight right hepatectomies for living liver donation.
Methods: After preoperative psychiatric evaluation, eight ASA I–II individuals donated the right lobe of their liver to a family member. A graft-recipient body weight ratio of 0.8–1.0% was required for patient selection. Indications for liver transplantation were: hepatitis C viral-related cirrhosis in six patients; combined hepatitis C and B viral cirrhosis in one patient; multifocal hepatocellular carcinoma – four lesions, involving both liver lobes – of hepatitis C viral-related cirrhosis in another patient. Indication for adult-to-adult living-donor liver transplantation was retained in the latter because of rapid deterioration of liver disease, rare recipient's blood group and extended, unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatitis C viral-related cirrhosis was casually the primary indication for adult-to-adult living-donor liver transplantation in this group. The condition of the donated hepatic lobe was optimized by appropriate drug and perfusion management. Preoperative investigations included: blood tests (full cell count and film, thyroid function tests, pregnancy tests, full virological tests and bacteriological cultures, and immunological typing), chest radiograph, electrocardiogram plus Doppler cardiac ultrasound, spirometry, aminopyrine breath test, liver Doppler examination, magnetic resonance imaging, angiography and cholangiography and a volumetric study of the whole liver and the right lobe. Haemoglobin and lactate concentrations, liver function tests and international normalized ratio were measured before and after operation. The volume and weight of the resected right lobe was calculated. Anaesthesia was induced with propofol 300 mL h−1 and sufentanil 0.3 μg kg−1 intravenously; cisatracurium, 0.15 mg kg−1, was given to facilitate tracheal intubation. Anaesthesia was maintained during normocapnic ventilation of the lungs with oxygen 40% in air, isoflurane 1–1.5 MAC and sufentanil. Routine anaesthetic monitoring included electrocardiography, pulse oximetry, invasive blood pressure, central venous pressure, urine output, state of neuromuscular blockade and core temperature. Periods of hypotension (< 80% of the preoperative blood pressure) or haemodynamic instability (requiring inotropic or vasoactive support) were registered. Total blood loss and transfusion (homologous, autologous or cell-saver blood) requirements were measured; volume replacements were derived.
Results: Data are presented as mean (range). There was no morbidity or mortality and no periods of intraoperative hypotension or haemodynamic instability. The operation time averaged 619 (525–780) min. Four donors were extubated in the operating room immediately after surgery; the others were extubated in the intensive care unit, where the mean extubation time was 16.3 (5–25) h after arrival. The estimated blood loss was 967 (550–1600) mL. No homologous blood was administered; five donors received autologous blood,intraoperatively; three donors received a cell-saver blood transfusion. Intraoperative fluid replacement was with crystalloids, colloids and 4% albumin. Total urine output was 1472 (700–3100)mL. Although intraoperative hypothermia occurred all subjects were normothermic at the end of operation. The pre- and immediately postoperative haemoglobin concentration averaged 13.6 (9.8–15.6) and 10.5 (6.9–13.0) g dL−1 respectively. On the first postoperative day, the haemoglobin was 11.7 (8.4–15.1) g dL−1. The donors' liver function tests were transiently elevated in the initial postoperative period. The intensive care unit discharge time was 2 (1–3) days. The hospital stay was 13 (7–17) days. There was no morbidity or mortality.
Conclusions: The study demonstrates that right-lobe living-donor surgery was well tolerated, without intraoperative hypotension or haemodynamic instability, without perioperative anaesthetic or surgical complications, and with an excellent general outcome.