The first 100 liver transplants at UCLA

R. W. Busuttil, J. O. Colonna, J. R. Hiatt, J. J. Brems, G. E. Khoury, L. I. Goldstein, W. J. Quinones-Baldrich, I. H. Abdul-Rasool, K. P. Ramming

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188 Scopus citations


A clinical program in liver transplantation was begun at UCLA in 1984 after a period of laboratory investigation. The first 100 orthotopic liver transplants (OLT) were performed in 83 patients (43 adults and 40 children) between February 1, 1984 and November 1, 1986. Donors and recipients were matched only for size and ABO blood group compatibility, with OLT performed across blood groups in 28 patients. Standard operative techniques were used, including venous-venous bypass in adults. Arterial reconstruction was performed using an aortic Carrel patch or 'branch patch' in 65% of cases and by end-to-end or aortic conduit techniques in the remainder. The hepatic artery thrombosis rate was 5%. Biliary reconstruction was choledochocholedochostomy in 67 OLT and Roux-en-Y choledochojejunostomy in 33 (complication rate of 24% and 24%, respectively). Average lengths and ranges of donor liver ischemia, operating time, and blood replacement were 4 hours (range: 1-10 hours), 7.6 hours (range: 4-15 hours), and 17 units packed cells (range: 2-220 units). Immunosuppressive regimen was cyclosporine-steroid combination, with monoclonal anti-T-cell antibody (OKT3) used for refractory rejection. All patients had one or more complications: pulmonary (78%), infectious (51%), renal dialysis (25%), neurologic (22%). All patients had at least one episode of acute rejection, and 3.6% had chronic rejection. Retransplantation was needed in nine patients once and in four patients twice. The overall retransplant survival rate was 54%, and two of four patients who received a second retransplant are alive. Sixty-three of the 83 patients (76%) are alive (adults 72%, children 80%). The 1-and 2-year actuarial survival rate is 73% (adults 68%, children 78%). Thirty-eight of 43 patients (88%) who had transplantation in the past year are alive. Of 14 perioperative variables assessed as predictors of early mortality, only postoperative dialysis (p <0.0005) and presence of severe rejection (p <0.01) had statistical significance. Seventy per cent of adults returned to work, and 84% of children had normal or accelerated growth. A new program in liver transplantation provides a dramatic option in patient care and an academic stimulus to the entire medical center.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)387-402
Number of pages16
JournalAnnals of surgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1987

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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