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Paolo Vincenzi, Javier Gonzalez, Giselle Guerra, Jeffrey J. Gaynor, Angel Alvarez, Gaetano Ciancio
(Department of Surgery, Miami Transplant Institute, Miami, FL, USA)
Ann Transplant 2021; 26:e926850
The use of allografts with multiple renal arteries has increased in the era of laparoscopic donor nephrectomy. Although several studies recommend reconstructing lower pole arteries (LPAs) to reduce risk of urologic complications, it is common opinion to ligate upper pole arteries (UPAs) with a diameter less than 2 mm because of increased risk of thrombosis related to their reconstruction. This retrospective study evaluates the feasibility and safety of reconstructing thin UPAs during living-donor kidney transplantation, with the goal of maintaining the integrity of the graft and assuring its maximal function.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: Data from 922 living-donor kidney transplants performed between 2009 and 2019 were reviewed. Six cases with UPAs were identified (0.65%). The study endpoints were incidence of allograft vascular and urologic complications, slow graft function, delayed graft function, graft failure, and graft and patient survival.
RESULTS: The UPAs had a mean diameter of 1.8±0.28 mm. Methods of reconstruction included: interposition graft (n=2), end-to-side anastomosis inside the renal hilum to a branch of the main renal artery (n=3), and side-to-side anastomosis with the main renal artery (n=1). Additional reconstruction of LPAs (n=2) and main renal arteries (n=2) was performed. During a median (range) follow-up of 14.5 (9-49) months no complications were observed.
CONCLUSIONS: Ex vivo reconstruction of UPAs with a diameter less than 2 mm is worth attempting, particularly in the setting of living-donor kidney transplantation.