New technique improves outcome for living donor liver transplants

March 18, 2008

The University of Alberta Hospital (UAH) is one of only a few centers in Canada that perform living donor liver transplantation, a surgical procedure developed in the late 1980s that expands the organ donor pool. About 80 liver transplants are done a year in Alberta, 10 of those being living-donor.

All potential liver transplant donors are assessed based on considerations such as the size and composition of the liver and vascular and bile duct anatomy. Thanks to a review paper done at the University of Alberta radiologists at the University of Alberta Hospital are now using CT (Computed Tomography) imaging for living-donor liver transplantation. This technique shows relevant liver anatomy and, in particular, enhances high resolution imaging of the vital bile duct anatomy.

“CT scans provide a clear image of the important ducts we need to see,” said Dr. Gavin Low, a clinical fellow in the University of Alberta’s Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry and author of a recent study describing this process. In the past radiologists have only been using an MRI to scan possible donors for bile duct anatomy, but Low said that, “By using CT imaging the results are much more accurate and reliable for the surgeons.”

Right now possible donors are screened with both MRI and CT scans but Low says the hope is to one day only use CT imaging; adding, “All-in-one imaging will speed up the process and make living-donor evaluation more convenient for potential donors.”

As many as four patients are evaluated by CT imaging every month.

Source: University of Alberta

Explore further: Research into brain control of liver lipid production could cause break in obesity, diabetes treatment

Related Stories

Creatine may protect liver from fatty diet

May 21, 2012

(Medical Xpress) -- A collaborative study involving researchers at the University of Alberta, the University of São Paulo in Brazil, and the Memorial University of Newfoundland has shown that creatine, a naturally occurring ...

Recommended for you

Sick stem cells point to better MS drugs

March 29, 2017

Doctors seeking a cure for an aggressive form of multiple sclerosis keep chasing a mirage: no matter how well a drug works in the lab, it never seems to help many patients in the clinic. But after closely examining stem cells ...

Researchers turn urine into research tools

March 28, 2017

One of the biggest challenges in studying Down syndrome is finding the right research model. Animals and established cell lines are limited in their ability to mimic human disease, and results don't always translate to patient ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.