AIM To evaluate the relationship between donor safety and remnant liver volume in right lobe living donor liver transplantation (LDLT). METHODS From July 2001 to January 2009, our liver transplant centers carried out 197 LDLTs. The clinical data from 151 cases of adult right lobe living donors (not including the middle hepatic vein) were analyzed. The conditions of the three groups of donors were well matched in terms of the studied parameters. The donors' preoperative data, intraoperative and postoperative data were calculated for the three groups: Group 1 remnant liver volume (RLV) < 35%, group 2 RLV 36%-40%, and group 3 RLV > 40%. Comparisons included the different remnant liver volumes on postoperative liver function recovery and the impact of systemic conditions. Correlations between remnant liver volume and post-operative complications were also analyzed. RESULTS The donors' anthroposomatology data, operation time, and preoperative donor blood test indicators were calculated for the three groups. No significant differences were observed between the donors' gender, age, height, weight, and operation time. According to the Chengdu standard liver volume formula, the total liver volume of group 1 was 1072.88 ± 131.06 mL, group 2 was 1043.84 ± 97.11 mL, and group 3 was 1065.33 ± 136.02 mL. The three groups showed no statistically significant differences. When the volume of the remnant liver was less than 35% of the total liver volume, the volume of the remnant had a significant effect on the recovery of liver function and intensive care unit time. In addition, the occurrence of complications was closely related to the remnant liver volume. When the volume of the remnant liver was more than 35% of the total liver volume, the remnant volume change had no significant effect on donor recovery. CONCLUSION To ensure donor safety, the remnant liver volume should be greater than the standard liver volume (35%) in right lobe living donor liver transplantation.