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HPB Surgery
Volume 11 (1999), Issue 4, Pages 225-234

The Need to Handicap the Recipient's Native Liver in the Rat Model of Heterotopic Auxiliary Liver Transplantation

1Department of Surgery, Division of Experimental Surgery, Belgium
2Department of Pathology, University Hospital of Ghent, Belgium
3Department of Surgery, Division of Experimental Surgery, University Hospital of Ghent, De Pintelaan 185, Ghent B-9000, Belgium

Received 2 November 1997; Accepted 20 March 1998

Copyright © 1999 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.


In the rat model of heterotopic auxiliary liver transplantation (HALTx), the opinion varies on whether and how the recipient's native liver should be handicapped. To avoid atrophy of the transplanted organ, in this study, two different handicaps were evaluated and their effects on post-operative animal survival and liver biology are described. With a sole portacaval shunt (group 1) all rats survived longer than 3 months. An additional handicap of the liver with either a 68% partial hepatectomy (68% PH) (group 2), or both a 68% PH and a common bile duct ligation (CBDL) (group 3) led to a 100% mortality within 2 days after surgery. When an auxiliary liver was transplanted to the rats handicapped with a 68% PH (group 4), serum Bilirubin and ALAT values were significantly lower than those handicapped with both a 68% PH and a CBDL (group 5). Autopsy and histology of the long-term survivors revealed the atrophy of the engrafted livers and the regeneration of the native livers in group 4, whereas it showed the opposite in group 5. Thus the various manipulations of the native liver do influence differently the post-transplant animal survival, serum liver biochemistry and the outcome of the engrafted liver in this rat model of HALTx.