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The value of living donor liver transplantation

Xiaoli Yang, Junhua Gong, JianPing Gong

Ann Transplant 2012; 17(4): 120-124

DOI: 10.12659/AOT.883702


Living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) is a very successful procedure that develops liver resources in case of worldwide shortages. As the technology has developed so much in the past 2 decades, LDLT has the same good prognosis as DDLT. However, LDLT still has lots of ethical & technical problems. It causes great psychiatric, physical and psychosocial harm to donors. Also, it has some negative effects on society by providing a platform for organ trade. Therefore, there is much controversy about the social value of LDLT. After review of recent papers, we find much progress can be made in inspiring the public to become organ donors and creating donation model new to improve the consent rate for solid organ donation from deceased donors. That is the key strategy for increasing the liver supply. With this serious shortage of organs, liver donor transplantation still has its advantages, but we should not place all our hopes on LDLT to increase the liver supply. We all need to try our best to increase donor awareness and promote organ donor registration – when cadaver organs could meet the needs for liver transplantation, living donor liver transplants would not be necessary.

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