The Journal of Bucharest College of Physicians and the Romanian Academy of Medical Sciences

The Impact of Hepatic Arterial Variations and Reconstructions on Arterial Complications in Liver Transplantation


Background: The purposes of the study were to determine the variations in hepatic arterial supply, to delineate the optimal methods of arterial anastomoses and reconstructions in liver transplantation and to analyse the incidence of arterial complications. Methods: The surgical anatomy of the extrahepatic arterial vascularization was investigated retrospectively in 209 donors and patients who underwent liver transplantation at Fundeni Clinical Institute (Bucharest, Romania) from January 1, 2015 to December 31, 2017. The vascular anatomy of the hepatic grafts was classified according to Michels’ description and other rare variations. Results: Anatomical variants of the classical pattern were detected in 26.3% of the livers (n = 55). The most common variant was a replaced right hepatic artery arising from the superior mesenteric artery (n = 17; 8.13%), followed by a common hepatic artery from superior mesenteric artery (n = 6; 2.87%). Arterial reconstructions were reported in 97 cases (45.5%). In recipients, used sites were intermediate: common hepatic artery (CHA) in 73.8% (n = 158), distal: proper hepatic artery (PHA) or common hepatic artery/gastro-duodenal artery bifurcation (CHA/GDA bifurcation) in 16.4% (n = 35) and proximal: coeliac trunk-splenic artery-aorta (CT–SA–A) in 9.3% (n = 20) of patients. Most common reconstructions were short graft artery (CT) on the recipient CHA (n = 33, 34.02%) and long graft artery: complex reconstruction between CT and superior mesenteric artery (SMA) – accessory right hepatic artery (RHA) from SMA on CHA (n = 12, 12.37%) and right hepatic graft artery on PHA or CHA/GDA bifurcation (n = 16, 16.49%). Conclusion: The information about the different hepatic arterial patterns, as well as establishing specific methods for arterial anastomoses and reconstructions is important in the determination of better outcomes.