"Anatomical" versus "territorial" belonging of the middle hepatic vein: virtual imaging and clinical repercussions.
BACKGROUND To overcome problems arising from a graft of insufficient size, right liver grafts have been used extensively for adult-to-adult living donor liver transplantation (LDLT). However, there are reports of severe congestion in the anterior segment of the graft after transplantation. CASE REPORTS Right liver transplantation without the middle hepatic vein was performed in six cases. In the second and third cases, the inferior right hepatic vein was reconstructed because it was thick (whereas the middle hepatic vein was not). Abdominal CT revealed congestive infarction of the anterior segment in the second case and of the posterior segment in the third. It was suspected that the former resulted from the lack of an middle hepatic vein, and the latter from obstruction of the reconstructed inferior right hepatic vein. Both patients died without improvement in liver function. Accordingly, in the fifth case, the middle hepatic vein was reconstructed. The postoperative course of this case was uneventful. Doppler ultrasonography showed profuse blood flow in the interposition graft. In the sixth case, the middle hepatic vein was not reconstructed because of technical difficulties. Although abdominal CT showed a congestive area in the anterior segment, the patient recovered uneventfully, probably because the volume of functional graft was sufficient even without the congestive area. CONCLUSION When the color becomes dark in more than half of the surface of the anterior segment following clamping of middle hepatic vein tributaries and the hepatic artery, the middle hepatic vein should be reconstructed. When the diameter of the inferior right hepatic vein is more than 5 mm, its reconstruction is also recommended.