Between 1986 and 1990 we performed heterotopic liver transplantation (HLT) in 17 patients with chronic liver disease. In spite of theoretical advantages and favorable short-term results, we abandoned HLT because of doubts about the long-term outcome and the improved results of standard orthotopic liver transplantation (OLT). There are, however, no studies comparing the long-term survival after HLT and OLT for chronic liver disease. We performed a case-control study of HLT vs. OLT, with long-term patient and graft survival as the main outcome measures. Known confounders and differences in baseline characteristics between HLT and OLT patients were corrected for. At 1 year, 5 of the 17 HLT patients had died, compared with 9 of the 34 OLT patients (relative risk [RR], 1.15; 95% confidence interval [CI], 0.33-4.02; P = 0.83). After correction for confounders, the long-term risk of graft failure (RR, 18.0; 95% CI, 1.5-223.5; P = 0.02) and of death (RR, 5.2; 95% CI, 0.8-34.8; P = 0.09) was higher after HLT than after OLT. The main causes of graft loss and death at more than 1 year after HLT were de novo malignancies and a variety of biliary complications. In conclusion, our data, from 1 of the largest single-center series of HLTs available, showed no significant difference between HLT and OLT in 1-year survival. However, the long-term outcome of HLT was inferior. HLT cannot be recommended as an alternative to OLT for any of the indications we studied, even though only 1 of the late deaths was definitely related to the heterotopic technique. Copyright,
Liver Transplantation
Department of Surgery

de Rave, S., Schalm, S., Hansen, B., Groenland, T., Kazemier, G., de Man, R., … IJzermans, J. (2005). Heterotopic vs. orthotopic liver transplantation for chronic liver disease: A case-control comparison of short-term and long-term outcomes. Liver Transplantation, 11(4), 396–401. doi:10.1002/lt.20376