Background & Aims: Reports of complications among adult right hepatic lobe donors have been limited to single centers. The rate and severity of complications in living donors were investigated in the 9-center Adult-to-Adult Living Donor Liver Transplantation Cohort Study (A2ALL). Methods: A retrospective observational study design was used. Participants included all potential living donors evaluated between 1998 and 2003. Complication severity was graded using the Clavien scoring system. Results: Of 405 donors accepted for donation, 393 underwent donation, and 12 procedures were aborted. There were 245 donors (62%) who did not experience complications; 82 (21%) had 1 complication, and 66 (17%) had 2 or more. Complications were scored as grade 1 (minor; n = 106, 27%), grade 2 (potentially life threatening; n = 103, 26%), grade 3 (life threatening; n = 8, 2%), and grade 4 (leading to death; n = 3, 0.8%). Common complications included biliary leaks beyond postoperative day 7 (n = 36, 9%), bacterial infections (n = 49, 12%), incisional hernia (n = 22, 6%), pleural effusion requiring intervention (n = 21, 5%), neuropraxia (n = 16, 4%), reexploration (n = 12, 3%), wound infections (n = 12, 3%), and intraabdominal abscess (n = 9, 2%). Two donors developed portal vein thrombosis, and 1 had inferior vena caval thrombosis. Fifty-one (13%) donors required hospital readmission, and 14 (4%) required 2 to 5 readmissions. Conclusions: Adult living liver donation was associated with significant donor complications. Although most complications were of low-grade severity, a significant proportion were severe or life threatening. Quantification of complication risk may improve the informed consent process, perioperative planning, and donor care.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by National Institute of Diabetes & Digestive & Kidney Diseases through cooperative agreements (listed below). Additional support was provided by Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), and the American Society of Transplant Surgeons (ASTS).