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10.08.2018 | Original Article | Ausgabe 3/2019

Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery 3/2019

Technical Aspects of Orthotopic Liver Transplantation—a Survey-Based Study Within the Eurotransplant, Swisstransplant, Scandiatransplant, and British Transplantation Society Networks

Journal of Gastrointestinal Surgery > Ausgabe 3/2019
Zoltan Czigany, Marcus N. Scherer, Johann Pratschke, Markus Guba, Silvio Nadalin, Arianeb Mehrabi, Gabriela Berlakovich, Xavier Rogiers, Jacques Pirenne, Jan Lerut, Zoltan Mathe, Philipp Dutkowski, Bo-Göran Ericzon, Massimo Malagó, Nigel Heaton, Wenzel Schöning, Jan Bednarsch, Ulf Peter Neumann, Georg Lurje
Wichtige Hinweise

Electronic supplementary material

The online version of this article (https://​doi.​org/​10.​1007/​s11605-018-3915-6) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
This work has been presented as oral presentation at the 2017 Joint International Congress of ILTS, ELITRA, and LICAGE in Prague, Czech Republic, May 2017, as well as at the 18th Congress of the European Society for Organ Transplantation in Barcelona, Spain, September 2017.



Orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT) has emerged as the mainstay of treatment for end-stage liver disease. However, technical aspects of OLT are still subject of ongoing debate and are widely based on personal experience and local institutional protocols.


An international online survey was sent out to all liver transplant centers (n = 52) within the Eurotransplant, Swisstransplant, Scandiatransplant, and British Transplant Society networks. The survey sought information on center-specific OLT caseload, vascular and biliary reconstruction, graft reperfusion, intraoperative control of hemodynamics, and drain policies.


Forty-two centers gave a valid response (81%). Out of these, 50% reported piggy-back and 40.5% total caval replacement as their standard technique. While 48% of all centers generally do not apply veno-venous bypass (vvBP) or temporary portocaval shunt (PCS) during OLT, vvBP/PCS are routinely used in six centers (14%). Portal vein first reperfusion is used in 64%, followed by simultaneous (17%), and retrograde reperfusion (12%). End-to-end duct-to-duct anastomosis without biliary drain (67%) is the most frequently performed method of biliary reconstruction. No significant associations were found between the center caseload and the surgical approach used. The predominant part of the centers (88%) stated that techniques of OLT are not evidence-based and 98% would participate in multicenter clinical trials on these topics.


Technical aspects of OLT vary widely among European centers. The extent to which center-specific variation of techniques affect transplant outcomes in Europe should be elucidated further in prospective multicenter trials.

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