Background: Arterial reconstruction remains the most important technical issue in paediatric transplantation. The arteries of paediatric donors as well as recipients are small and friable. The aim of this study was to assess the use of the donor aorta as a conduit for arterial reconstruction in paediatric liver and multivisceral transplantation. Methods: Between June 1994 and January 2002, 284 paediatric transplants, including 197 cadaveric liver and multivisceral transplants, were performed in children at this centre. Of these, 41 (20.8 per cent), including nine cadaveric liver transplants and 32 multivisceral transplants, were revascularized by donor aortic reconstruction. Patient demographics, types of donor arterial reconstruction, technical complications and incidence of hepatic artery thrombosis were reviewed. Results: None of the 41 donor aortic reconstructions used in revascularization of paediatric liver and multivisceral transplants thrombosed. There were no bleeding complications and no pseudoaneurysms developed. Conclusion: Arterial reconstruction using donor aorta is a useful option with a low incidence of thrombosis in paediatric transplantation.
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