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HPB Surgery
Volume 2 (1990), Issue 4, Pages 281-293

Heterotopic Auxiliary Liver Transplantation with Portal Flow

1Departments of Surgery, Pathology and Surgical Research, Hospital Universitario San Carlos, USA
2Cátedra Patologia Quirúrgica, Hospital Universitario San Carlos, U.C.M., C/Martin Lagos s/n, Madrid 28040, Spain

Received 29 November 1989

Copyright © 1990 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


One of the causes of auxiliary liver transplantation failure is the inter-liver competition between the host liver and the graft for the hepatotrophic factors of the portal blood. We have developed an experimental model of heterotopic partial (30%) liver isotransplant using Wistar rats so as to study this competition.

Splenoportography and dissection demonstrate the existence of collateral circulation. The collaterals at 90 days post-transplant (PT) consisted of veins from the portal vein to the host liver (PR), paraesophageal veins (PE) and splenorenal veins (SR). At 60 days P.T., PR and SR veins but not PE ones appeared, and at 30 days P.T., there were only PR veins. Graft atrophy at 90 days P.T. was associated with a severe degree of bile duct proliferation.

The gradual development of portal hypertension causes porto-systemic collateral circulation and the graft loses the portal hepatotrophic factors. The late development of the portal hypertension and the biliary proliferation could be caused by the hepatic arterial ischemia in this experimental model. Thus, as has been described in the orthotopic liver tansplantation, the heterotopic one might require a double vascularization, both portal and arterial.