Right-lobe living related liver transplantation: Evaluation of a comprehensive magnetic resonance imaging protocol for assessing potential donors

Mathias Goyen*, Jörg Barkhausen, Jörg F. Debatin, Hilmar Kühl, Silke Bosk, Giuliano Testa, Massimo Malago, Stefan G. Ruehm

*Corresponding author for this work
59 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of this study was to determine the practicability and diagnostic accuracy of a magnetic resonance (MR) protocol capable of replacing computed tomography, catheter angiography, and endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography for the presurgical evaluation of potential liver donors before right hepatectomy. MR imaging (MRI) was performed on a 1.5 T scanner using a phased-array torso surface coil for signal reception. The following image sets were collected: axial two-dimensional (2D) T1-weighted fast low angle shot (FLASH), axial 2D T2-weighted half-Fourier acquisition single-shot turbo-spin-echo (HASTE) with fat saturation, coronal MR cholangio-pancreatography (MRCP) based on 2D multisection HASTE and single-section single-shot rapid acquisition with relaxation enhancement (RARE) imaging, dynamic contrast-enhanced three-dimensional (3D) FLASH, and contrast-enhanced T1-weighted FLASH. 3D FLASH data sets were collected before and after an intravenous administration of Multihance (gadobenate dimeglumine, Gd-BOPTA; Bracco, Milano, Italy), 0.2 mmol/kg of body weight. Thirty-eight potential liver donors were assessed by means of MRI. Twenty patients also underwent digital subtraction angiography (DSA). Of these, 16 patients underwent liver harvesting. MR angiography (MRA) data sets correlated with DSA results, and MRCP results correlated with intraoperative findings. Patients were excluded as potential donors based on insufficient liver mass of the left hepatic lobe (n = 5) or presence of hepatic pathological states (n = 9) seen at MRI, such as hemangiomas, focal nodular hyperplasias, or hepatic steatosis. MRCP showed the biliary system to the level of the first hepatic side branch. Dilated ducts were present in 4 patients. MRA depiction of hepatic arterial morphological characteristics correlated with catheter angiography results in all 20 patients: Three left hepatic arteries originating from the left gastric artery, three aberrant right hepatic arteries originating from the superior mesenteric artery, and two aberrant origins of both hepatic arteries and one common hepatic artery originating from the superior mesenteric artery were correctly identified on MRA. Similarly, the portal venous system was fully assessed on MRA. A comprehensive assessment of the hepatic parenchyma, biliary and pancreatic ductal system, and hepatic arterial, portal, and venous systems can be accomplished using the outlined protocol.

Original languageEnglish
JournalLiver Transplantation
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)241-250
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 01.01.2002


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