DIVIDING a single liver among two pediatric patients may be one way to compensate for a shortage of donor organs for small children, according to a report presented at the recent annual meeting of the American Society of Transplant Surgeons in Chicago, Ill.
Jean Emond, MD, of the University of Chicago reported that a team led by Cristolph Broelsch, MD, during the last 2 years had performed 10 procedures in which the donor liver was divided and grafted into two recipients. Emond said that during the period only one child died while waiting for a suitable organ.
Broelsch is one of the pioneers in reducing adult livers for transplantation in pediatric patients. In the current series of operations he used the excised portion of the liver as a graft for a second patient.
In theory, each of the organ's eight independent sections could function as a liver, but the team