Research Article

Orthotopic liver transplantation: the first 60 patients.

Br Med J 1977; 1 doi: (Published 19 February 1977) Cite this as: Br Med J 1977;1:471
  1. R Y Calne,
  2. R Williams


    Between May 1968 and 31 December 1976 60 orthotopic liver allografts were transplanted by the Cambridge-King's College Hospital team. During this period there were changes in the selection of patients and their management. Initially some patients were operated on when they were too ill, often because of a prolonged wait for a donor. There was a high incidence of fatal complications of biliary drainage in patients who survived longer than the first week after operation. Improved results have been due to the development of a simple method of preserving the liver, thereby increasing the pool of potential donors, and by a new technique of biliary drainage, which allows well-vascularised anastomoses without tension, retains the sphincter of Oddi, and leaves access for radiological examination of the biliary tree. Uncontrollable rejection of the liver has occurred in less than 10% of cases. This contrasts strongly with the incidence of rejection among kidney transplants. Six patients have lived for over a year, the longest surviving for more than five years, and 13 patients were still alive at the beginning of 1977.