Assessment of Liver Transplant Donor Biopsies for Steatosis Using Frozen Section: Accuracy and Possible Impact on Transplantation

New Jersey Medical School, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, Newark, New Jersey, USA.
Journal of Clinical Medicine Research 07/2011; 3(4):191-4. DOI: 10.4021/jocmr629w
Source: PubMed


Pre-transplant frozen section evaluation for macrovesicular steatosis has long been used as a guide for donor liver utility, but may not agree with the permanent section evaluation. This study sought to evaluate the accuracy of frozen section in an active transplant service.
Retrospective review of cases where frozen section analysis was undertaken to assess percent macrovesicular steatosis was performed, comparing the frozen section diagnosis to the final diagnosis.
Ninety-six cases were available for review. In 7 of these cases (7%), the difference between the two slides was significant; that is, the difference between the two slides may have contributed to a change in clinical management at a cutoff of 30%.
Clinicians need to be aware that accuracy is satisfactory in experienced hands but some discrepancies may occur.
Liver; Steatosis; Pathology.

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    • "A small (5 Â 10 mm) slice with a ragged edge and transport in a saline solution probably affected the major overestimation of hepatic steatosis in 1 of the reported cases. Drying the specimen of saline excess and increasing the rapidity of freezing would probably also reduce the amount of the artifacts; however, other authors do not have an unequivocal statement concerning this matter, especially with respect to the latter [11] [12]. The Department of Pathological Anatomy cooperates with the surgical department, which specializes in liver surgery and performs a significant number of liver transplantations (169 liver transplantations in 2012). "
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    ABSTRACT: Background: Because liver allograft steatosis is an important risk factor of graft dysfunction after liver transplantation, it must be taken into consideration during graft acceptance. The aim of this study was to evaluate the reliability of frozen section in the assessment of liver steatosis before transplantation. Methods: The retrospective analysis was based on data of 112 liver allograft procurements performed between 2003 and 2012. Hepatic steatosis was assessed in frozen and routine sections. Sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values of the frozen section were evaluated with respect to detection of >30% and >50% steatosis. Results: According to routine section assessment, there were 32 (28.6%) cases of steatosis >30% and 16 (14.3%) of >50%. The results of frozen section assessment were underestimated and overestimated in a similar low number of cases, both for the >30% (0.0% and 0.9%, respectively, P < 1.000) and the >50% (4.5% and 0.9%, respectively, P = .221) cutoff. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive values of frozen section assessment were 100.0%, 98.8%, 97.0%, and 100.0%, respectively, for detection of >30% steatosis, and 68.8%, 99.0%, 91.7%, and 95.0%, respectively, for >50% steatosis. Conclusions: Considering high positive predictive value of frozen section assessment in detection of >50% steatosis, it may serve as a base to discard the use of graft for transplantation. However, according to the relatively moderate sensitivity of this method, decision of graft acceptance must also be made on consideration of other well-known factors for poor posttransplant function.
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    ABSTRACT: During the last couple of decades, with standardization and progress in surgical techniques, immunosuppression and post liver transplantation patient care, the outcome of liver transplantation has been optimized. However, the principal limitation of transplantation remains access to an allograft. The number of patients who could derive benefit from liver transplantation markedly exceeds the number of available deceased donors. The large gap between the growing list of patients waiting for liver transplantation and the scarcity of donor organs has fueled efforts to maximize existing donor pool and identify new avenues. This article reviews the changing pattern of donor for liver transplantation using grafts from extended criteria donors (elderly donors, steatotic donors, donors with malignancies, donors with viral hepatitis), donation after cardiac death, use of partial grafts (split liver grafts) and other suboptimal donors (hypernatremia, infections, hypotension and inotropic support).
    No preview · Article · Dec 2013 · Journal of Clinical and Experimental Hepatology
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    ABSTRACT: Large-droplet macrovesicular steatosis (ld-MaS) in more than 30% of liver graft hepatocytes is a major risk factor for liver transplantation. An accurate assessment of the ld-MaS percentage is crucial for determining liver graft transplantability, which is currently based on pathologists' evaluations of hematoxylin and eosin (H&E)-stained liver histology specimens, with the predominant criteria being the relative size of the lipid droplets (LDs) and their propensity to displace a hepatocyte's nucleus to the cell periphery. Automated image analysis systems aimed at objectively and reproducibly quantifying ld-MaS do not accurately differentiate large LDs from small-droplet macrovesicular steatosis and do not take into account LD-mediated nuclear displacement; this leads to a poor correlation with pathologists' assessments. Here we present an improved image analysis method that incorporates nuclear displacement as a key image feature for segmenting and classifying ld-MaS from H&E-stained liver histology slides. 52,000 LDs in 54 digital images from 9 patients were analyzed, and the performance of the proposed method was compared against the performance of current image analysis methods and the ld-MaS percentage evaluations of 2 trained pathologists from different centers. We show that combining nuclear displacement and LD size information significantly improves the separation between large and small macrovesicular LDs (specificity = 93.7%, sensitivity = 99.3%) and the correlation with pathologists' ld-MaS percentage assessments (linear regression coefficient of determination = 0.97). This performance vastly exceeds that of other automated image analyzers, which typically underestimate or overestimate pathologists' ld-MaS scores. This work demonstrates the potential of automated ld-MaS analysis in monitoring the steatotic state of livers. The image analysis principles demonstrated here may help to standardize ld-MaS scores among centers and ultimately help in the process of determining liver graft transplantability. Liver Transpl, 2013. © 2013 AASLD.
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