Usability of ringed polytetrafluoroethylene grafts for middle hepatic vein reconstruction during living donor liver transplantation.

Division of Liver Transplantation and Hepatobiliary Surgery, Department of Surgery, Asan Medical Center, University of Ulsan College of Medicine, Songpa-Gu, Seoul, Korea.
Liver Transplantation (Impact Factor: 3.94). 04/2012; 18(8):955-65. DOI: 10.1002/lt.23456
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Large vein allografts are suitable for middle hepatic vein (MHV) reconstruction, but their supply is often limited. Although polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) grafts are unlimitedly available, their long-term patency is relatively poor. We intended to enhance the clinical usability of PTFE grafts for MHV reconstruction during living donor liver transplantation (LDLT). Two sequential studies were performed. First, PTFE grafts were implanted as inferior vena cava replacements into dogs. Second, in a 1-year prospective clinical trial of 262 adults undergoing LDLT with a modified right lobe, MHV reconstruction with PTFE grafts was compared with other types of reconstruction, and the outcomes were evaluated. In the animal study, PTFE grafts induced strong inflammatory reactions and luminal thrombus formation, but the endothelial lining was well developed. In the clinical study, the reconstruction techniques were revised to make a composite PTFE graft with an artery patch on the basis of the results of the animal study. MHVs were reconstructed with cryopreserved iliac veins (n = 122), iliac arteries (n = 43), aortas (n = 13), and PTFE (n = 84), and these reconstructions yielded 6-month patency rates of 75.3%, 35.2%, 92.3%, and 76.6%, respectively. The overall 6-month patency rates for the iliac vein and PTFE grafts were similar (P = 0.92), but the 6-month patency rates with vein segment 5 were 51.0% and 34.7%, respectively (P = 0.001). The overall graft and patient survival rates did not differ among these 4 groups. In conclusion, ringed PTFE grafts combined with small vessel patches showed high patency rates comparable to those of iliac vein grafts; thus, they can be used for MHV reconstruction when other sizable vessel allografts are not available.

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    ABSTRACT: Background We previously showed that ringed polytetrafluoroethylene (PTFE) grafts combined with small allograft patches showed high patency rates similar to those of iliac vein grafts and therefore that they can be used for middle hepatic vein (MHV) reconstruction. Although such use of PTFE graft showed high patency rates, its long-term safety regarding infection and other types of complications were not presented. In this study, we investigated the actual risk of complications directly associated with PTFE graft interposition for MHV reconstruction. Methods During the study period of 30 months, we performed 215 cases of adult living-donor liver transplantation with modified right lobe graft and PTFE grafts. We classified the potential complications directly associated with PTFE graft interposition as infectious and surgical complications. The medical records of study patients were retrospectively reviewed. Results MHV graft patency rate was 76.3% at 6 months and 36.7% at 12 months. Their 1-year graft and patient survival rates were 92.6% and 93.5%, respectively. The 1-year actual incidences of infectious complication and surgical complication were near zero and 1 case (0.5%), respectively. In 1 recipient, the PTFE graft penetrated into the stomach wall 6 months after transplantation, but the patient did not complain of any specific symptoms. The PTFE graft was removed with the use of laparotomy, and the patient recovered uneventfully. Conclusions Although the incidence of PTFE graft–associated complication rate is very low, we suggest that it is necessary to closely monitor the PTFE graft, because unexpected complications can happen during long-term follow-up.
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