Background. Unlike cadaveric liver transplantation, current attitudes in living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) quote increased risk factors in the potential recipient such as retransplantation, multiple previous surgeries, or preexisting recipient portal vein thrombosis (PVT) as absolute or relative contraindications to this procedure. Methods. An international survey was performed to examine the attitude of transplant teams relative to LDLT in the setting of preexisting PVT in the potential recipient. A questionnaire was sent to a total of 80 transplant centers performing LDLT in the United States, Europe, Canada, Japan, Southeast Asia, and Australia. Results. A response was obtained from 47 transplant centers (59% response rate). This included 2146 LDLT procedures that combined both left and right lobe allografts. The incidence of acute preexisting recipient PVT was 18 (0.8%) and of chronic PVT was 26 (1.2%). Thrombectomy was performed in 28 (64%), a jump graft in 13 (29.5%), and a combination of both thrombectomy and a jump graft in 2 (4.5%) cases. With reference to the presence of preexisting PVT in the potential recipient, 5 centers considered this to be an absolute contraindication (10.7%), 24 centers as a relative contraindication (51%), and 18 as not being a contraindication (38.3%) to LDLT. Conclusions. The overall response to our questionnaire reflected a cautious attitude within the transplant community. Ethical criteria pertaining to risk undertaken by a healthy donor in situations of higher recipient morbidity risk does seem to impact on the decision to undertake LDLT in this group of patients.
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