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A surgical experience with 530 orthotopic liver transplants in rats is reviewed with technical details. Liver transplantation in the rat can provide important data in a variety of areas, including immunology. Nevertheless, technical problems have limited the widespread use of this valuable investigative tool. Cuff techniques for microvascular anastomosis have simplified the portal venous anastomosis and have minimized the anhepatic phase in the recipient. These had previously been the most frequent causes of failure in the utilization of liver transplantation in the rat. The technique for rat liver transplantation described here was found to be reliable with a 95.3% long-term survival (longer than 100 days) in a recent group of 85 transplants where rejection was not a factor. In the early experience, most deaths were due to bleeding, infection, and biliary complications. The improvements in technique have eliminated most of these errors. We feel that the use of these technical modifications would increase the success rate of rat liver transplantation in the hands of others.
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Accepted: April 8, 1982
☆Supported by M.R.C. Project grants G978/822 and G80/ 0091/8CA and the Daimon-Hagimori Foundation.
© 1983 Published by Elsevier Inc.