Indian Journal of Gastroenterology

, Volume 37, Issue 1, pp 25–30 | Cite as

Live donor liver transplantation for acute liver failure: A single center experience

  • Siddharth Mehrotra
  • Naimish Mehta
  • Prashantha S. Rao
  • Shailendra Lalwani
  • Vivek Mangla
  • Samiran Nundy
Original Article



Acute liver failure (ALF) is an indication for emergency liver transplantation (LT). Although centers performing only deceased donor liver transplants (DDLT) have shown improved outcomes in this situation, they still have relatively long waiting lists. An alternative would be living donor liver transplantation (LDLT), which has shown equivalent outcomes in the elective situation but there is limited evidence of its results in ALF.


The purpose of this study was to assess the outcomes in patients with ALF undergoing emergency LDLT in our center in Delhi, India.


We prospectively collected data on 479 patients who underwent LT in our hospital between January 2009 and December 2015 to evaluate the outcomes of those with ALF. The ALF patients were listed for transplantation after they met the Kings’ College criteria and rapid evaluation was done following a protocol consisting of three phases. Patients with grade III/IV encephalopathy were put on mechanical ventilation. Data regarding their postoperative course, morbidity, and mortality were analyzed.


Thirty-six (7.5%) out of the 479 patients underwent emergency LT for ALF. Their mean age was 27.5 years (range 4–59 years) and the male to female ratio of 2:3. Preoperative intubation was required in 15 of 25 patients who had encephalopathy. Wilson’s disease was the most common cause of ALF in children while in adults, it was acute viral hepatitis. The time interval between listing and transplantation was a mean of 36 ± 12.4 h. The mean graft to recipient weight ratio (GRWR) was 1.06 ± 0.3. The recipients were extubated postoperatively after a mean period of 2.6 days and their mean ICU stay was 6.3 days. Postoperative infection was the most common complication and required upgradation of antifungal and antibiotic treatments. Neurological complications occurred in five patients. Thirty-one of 36 (86.1%) patients survived and progressive cerebral edema and sepsis were the most common causes of mortality. Patients who died had higher model for end-stage liver disease scores, longer cold ischemia time (CIT), and higher grades of encephalopathy (though 80% patients with encephalopathy survived). There was no donor mortality. At long-term follow up of a median of 56 months, 29 (80.5%) of 36 patients were still alive.


In our experience, LDLT is an alternative procedure to DDLT in patients with ALF and is associated with good outcomes even in patients with high grades of encephalopathy.


Acute liver failure King’s College criteria Living donor liver transplantation 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

SM, NM, PSR, SL, VM, and SN declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethics statement

The study was performed conforming to the Helsinki Declaration of 1975, as revised in 2000 and 2008 concerning human and animal rights, and the authors followed the policy concerning informed consent as shown on


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Copyright information

© Indian Society of Gastroenterology 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Surgical Gastroenterology and Liver TransplantationSir Ganga Ram HospitalNew DelhiIndia

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