Open Access Open Badges Research article

Evaluation of living liver donors using contrast enhanced multidetector CT – The radiologists impact on donor selection

Kristina Imeen Ringe1*, Bastian Paul Ringe2, Christian von Falck1, Hoen-oh Shin1, Thomas Becker3, Eva-Doreen Pfister4, Frank Wacker1 and Burckhardt Ringe5

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg Str. 1, 30625, Hannover, Germany

2 Department of General, Visceral and Transplantation Surgery, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg Str.1, 30625, Hannover, Germany

3 Department of General and Thoracic Surgery, University Hospital Schleswig-Holstein, Arnold-Heller Str.1, 24105, Kiel, Germany

4 Department of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Hannover Medical School, Carl-Neuberg Str. 1, 30625, Hannover, Germany

5 Drexel University, College of Medicine, 216 N Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA, 19102, USA

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BMC Medical Imaging 2012, 12:21  doi:10.1186/1471-2342-12-21

Published: 24 July 2012



Living donor liver transplantation (LDLT) is a valuable and legitimate treatment for patients with end-stage liver disease. Computed tomography (CT) has proven to be an important tool in the process of donor evaluation. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the significance of CT in the donor selection process.


Between May 1999 and October 2010 170 candidate donors underwent biphasic CT. We retrospectively reviewed the results of the CT and liver volumetry, and assessed reasons for rejection.


89 candidates underwent partial liver resection (52.4%). Based on the results of liver CT and volumetry 22 candidates were excluded as donors (31% of the cases). Reasons included fatty liver (n = 9), vascular anatomical variants (n = 4), incidental finding of hemangioma and focal nodular hyperplasia (n = 1) and small (n = 5) or large for size (n = 5) graft volume.


CT based imaging of the liver in combination with dedicated software plays a key role in the process of evaluation of candidates for LDLT. It may account for up to 1/3 of the contraindications for LDLT.

LDLT; Transplantation; Living donor; Recipient; CT